‘It was a sad day in Amer­i­can his­tory’


The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANIEL SUGARMAN

JEWISH OR­GAN­I­SA­TIONS around the world have ex­pressed ex­treme dis­quiet over US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Day state­ment in which he failed to men­tion Jews or an­ti­semitism, and his ex­ec­u­tive or­der, is­sued on the same day, to ban cit­i­zens of seven Muslim-ma­jor­ity coun­tries from en­ter­ing the US.

Jonathan Green­blatt, the Na­tional Di­rec­tor of the Anti-Defama­tion League, called Mr Trump’s HMD state­ment “puz­zling and trou­bling”. The speech was also con­demned by the Repub­li­can Jewish Coali­tion, and the Zion­ist Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Amer­ica.

Holo­caust his­to­rian Deb­o­rah Lip­stadt said: “What we saw from the White House was clas­sic soft­core de­nial. The Holo­caust was de-Ju­daised.”

Mean­while, there was out­rage over the US Pres­i­dent’s move to pre­vent those with pass­ports from sev­eral Arab coun­tries — in­clud­ing war-torn Syria, Iraq and Libya — from en­ter­ing the US.

Mr Green­blatt said: “His­tory will look back on this or­der as a sad day in Amer­i­can his­tory — the time when the pres­i­dent turned his back on peo­ple flee­ing for their lives.”

In the UK, Jonathan Arkush, Presi- dent of the Board of Deputies, said: “Bans based on na­tional ori­gin are in­dis­crim­i­nate and un­just. They would be un­law­ful in UK law. While we all un­der­stand the need to prop­erly check those who en­ter our coun­tries, this needs to be bal­anced with com­pas­sion to­wards the plight of those flee­ing for their lives.” The René Cassin hu­man rights or­gan­i­sa­tion said the ban was “cruel, dis­pro­por­tion­ate and runs counter to in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian law.

“The fact that this ban was an­nounced on In­ter­na­tional Holo- caust Me­mo­rial Day acts as a re­minder from his­tory as to the tragic con­se­quences of turn­ing away vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple.”

Not all Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tions spoke out against the ban, how­ever.

The Zion­ist Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Amer­ica com­mended Mr Trump, call­ing the ex­ec­u­tive or­der “a much-needed ef­fort to ad­dress a key flaw with the US im­mi­gra­tion vet­ting process: the lack of in­for­ma­tion needed to vet im­mi­grants and to keep ISIS from in­fil­trat­ing the US”.

Bans based on na­tional ori­gin are in­dis­crim­i­nate and un­just’

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