Sean Spicer: critics of 'praised' White House Holocaust tribute are 'pathetic'

On Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at the daily briefing, "The statement was written with the help of an individual who is both Jewish and the descendant of Holocaust survivors".

Lipstadt said that the statement "did not mention Jews or anti-semitism" and that it "bemoaned the innocent victims".

"The Final Solution was not planned against Gypsies. And obviously, a miserable time in history that we remember here at the White House and certainly will never forget the Jewish people that suffered in World War II". But it also provides ammunition to those who actively seek to cast the Holocaust as just another stain on world history and who misappropriate its remembrance for their own political ends. The White House made it clear that the omission of Jews was no accident.

"As a child of Holocaust survivors whose parents and grandparents went to Auschwitz, and as a representative of the largest population of Holocaust survivors in the USA, it is egregious and a slap in the face to the millions of Jews whose lives were forever changed as a result of the Holocaust", he said. He added that Friday's statement was crafted to recognize all victims of the Holocaust.

In an apparent rebuke to US President Donald Trump, Yad Vashem issues a statement today clarifying that the Holocaust "was the unprecedented genocide of six million Jews". Events commemorating the deaths of six millions Jews and millions of other victims are held each year on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The Holocaust was de-Judaized. It a major influence on my writing about denialism because Lipstadt systematically exposes the tactics deniers used to subvert legitimate scholarship and scientific fact, which, it turns out, are pretty universal to denialist movements. Softcore denial also includes Holocaust minimization, as when someone suggests it was not so bad.

But the statement was issued on the same day as the order banning refugees. Such was the natural outgrowth of the combining forces of the disappearance of Holocaust survivors due to age and the laudable desire, in the name of Holocaust remembrance, to fight genocide wherever it occurs. Then they doubled down on the action and via Reince Priebus on Meet the Press expressed no regret about the wording which had no mention of the Jews in their supposed "remembrance".

Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, also speaking at the dinner, condemned Trump for his stance on immigration.

"One of the things people remember about the United States is that during the '30s a ship of Jews was turned away from America", she said. "The fact that they did that and imposed this religious test against Muslims in the executive orders on the same day - this is not a coincidence".

  • Joey Payne