Exchange on Marking Holocaust Remembrance Day Was Insensitive, DNC Says

'The DNC joins with our constituents to commemorate many holidays and we did the same with Yom Hashoah as well,' says official.

A delegate calls for removal of DNC staff involved in the Wikileaks scandal at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016.
Lucy Nicholson, Reuters

A back and forth among Democratic National Committee staffers over whether the party should mark Holocaust Remembrance Day was “insensitive,” the DNC said.

“The DNC joins with our constituents to commemorate many holidays and we did the same with Yom Hashoah as well,” a DNC official told JTA on Wednesday, emphasizing that the DNC had gone ahead and marked the remembrance, despite the email exchange between the staffers.

“The comments by the DNC staffer about the process were insensitive and we have already apologized this week for inappropriate comments made and discovered in these emails,” the official said.

The staffers, writing on May 5, questioned then-chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s request for the group to put out a statement in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, leaked emails show. Wasserman Schultz is Jewish.

In the email chain released as part of the batch of hacked DNC emails dumped last Friday by WikiLeaks, a staffer wrote that a statement marking the day was unnecessary.

“We aren’t going to do statements for every Jewish holiday unless she wants to do them for every religious holiday and trust me, this Catholic can give you a list of them,” staffer Kate Houghton wrote. “Also when she does an official statement it makes very little sense to have two statements out there in her voice.”

Houghton’s colleague, senior communications adviser Ryan Banfill, replied, “This is about remembering the Holocaust. Never forget,” to which Houghton replied that other genocides should be commemorated in the same way.

The email dump revealed that the DNC had discussed ways to undermine the underdog campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders challenging Hillary Clinton, who eventually won the nomination. One of the emails suggested questioning Sanders’ belief in God and commitment to his Judaism.

Wasserman Schultz resigned her DNC post in the wake of the leaks.