Commemorating Holocaust, Trump Fails to Mention Jews and anti-Semitism

Trump decries 'horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror'; ADL says it's 'puzzling and troubling' that Jews weren't mentioned in the statement.

In this Jan. 26, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia.
In this Jan. 26, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia. Matt Rourke/AP

WASHINGTON D.C. - President Donald Trump released a statement Friday marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, decrying the "horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror," but failing to specifically mention either anti-Semitism or Jews.

The statement was met with criticism from the Anti-Defamation League for not containing any clear reference to Jews.  

"It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust," Trump's statement began. "It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.

"Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent."

Trump then pivoted to his own role as president.

"In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world."

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote on Twitter that it was "puzzling and troubling" for the White House not to include any mention of Jews in its Holocaust Day statement. "GOP and Dem presidents have done so in the past."

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On last year's International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who came under similar criticism  for failing to mention the Jewish people in his official statement. This year, Trudeau's office made sure to release a better-worded statement which started with the words: "Today, on the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we remember the more than six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and the countless other victims of Nazi brutality." 

To mark International Holocaust Remembrance day in 2016, former president Barack Obama gave a special address at the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C. and said that "anti-Semitism is on the rise, we cannot deny it. "When we see Jews leaving Europe ... and attacks on Jewish centers from Mumbai to Kansas; when we see swastikas appear on college campuses, we must not stay silent."