UNTIL MID2016, I was the Jewish World Correspondent for the covering Jewish life and, unfortunately, antisemitism across the globe. Much of my focus was on Eastern Europe and Holocaust distortion in former Soviet countries such as the Ukraine and Hungary.
Checking the news after Shabbat, I was surprised to see a statement by President Donald Trump ostensibly commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day but which failed to make any mention of the Jewish people or antisemitism.
Given that his new policy blocking immigration from seven Muslim nations had been implemented on the same day, sparking a worldwide furore, I assumed that his failure to mention Jewish suffering was an oversight, a mistake amid the malstrom.
That hope, however, was quickly dashed when spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN the administration was “incredibly inclusive” and cited the murder of the Roma, the disabled, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other groups as the basis of the decision to omit the central victims of the Holocaust.
Mr Trump is known for refusing to back down, even when the facts are not in his favour, and his comments on the Holocaust were no exception.
In an interview on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus doubled down on the administration’s Holocaust revisionism.
Asked why he was whitewashing the genocide of the Jewish people, the former head of the Republican National Committee replied that he did not regret the wording.
Despite saying he did recognise that the Holocaust was about destroying the Jews as a people, he continued to defend Mr Trump’s statement, adding, “everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust including obviously all of the Jewish people affected”.
In much of Eastern Europe, governments have shown themselves to have a vested interest in minimising the Jewish nature of the Holocaust as