American Jews to the U.S. Holocaust Museum:
President Trump’s administration has repeatedly insulted the memory of the Holocaust, and embraced the agenda and rhetoric of white nationalism and antisemitism. So how can the U.S. Holocaust Museum invite him to deliver the keynote remarks at the National Day of Remembrance?
Jews across the country are outraged by this bizarre and unacceptable choice.
While we recognize the longstanding tradition of American presidents giving remarks at this ceremony, this is not a normal president and this is not a normal moment. It is an insult to the memories of survivors, descendants, and allies that he would speak on this sacred day.
From President Trump’s outrageous Holocaust Memorial Day statement, which intentionally erased the unique persecution and suffering of Jews at the hands of the Nazis, to his press secretary’s mindless and casual references to Nazi gas chambers, to his employment of unapologetic white nationalists like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka — Trump and his allies have not earned the right to speak at this solemn ceremony.
Just as crucial, Trump’s demonization of immigrants and Muslims, his denigration of the press, his attacks on the judicial system and other actions that seek to undermine the institutions that protect our civil society, coupled with his ongoing admiration for authoritarian leaders, illustrate his failure to learn the painful lessons of the Shoah.
This is our moment to make it really clear: American Jews reject Trump and his contempt for the most fundamental Jewish and American values.
Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action
and American Jews from across the country