Wednesday, 03 June, 2020

Trump draws ire for message at Holocaust museum

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday Trump draws ire for message at Holocaust museum
Kelley Robertson | 24 May, 2017, 04:46

True to form, Trump's note was blunt and appeared a bit rushed. "(He forgot: "See you next summer")", wrote Raoul Wootliff.

Trump wrote: 'It's a great honour to be here with all of my friends.

The tone of Trump's note has invoked comparisons to the note left at the memorial by his predecessor, Barack Obama, who - while running for president in 2008 - visited the memorial and left a much more appropriate (not to mention "eloquent") message.

The note was immediately compared to an entry by Mr Obama from July 2008.

'Let our children come here and know this history so that they can add their voice to proclaim "never again". "And may we remember those who perished, not only as victims, but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed like us, and who have become symbols of the human spirit". Today made that task more hard.

President Trump was also accompanied by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Yad Vashem Chairman Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and Yad Vashem Director Avner Shalev. His advance team had reportedly initially scheduled him for a scant 15 minutes in the museum - and that's including the time it would take for him to sign the guest book, lay a wreath, and deliver his remarks.

Trump didn't tour the museum during his brief visit on Tuesday, citing his busy schedule during his first foreign trip as president.

Earlier, on his fourth and final day in the Middle East, his motorcade crossed through the barrier surrounding biblical Bethlehem for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, where he pressed for progress on the dormant peace process.

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The Holiday Inn spokesperson also said people should call the official helpline instead of the hotel directly. Health workers visiting Manchester for a conference offered to help ease the pressure.

The President and First Lady Melania Trump signed Yad Vashem's guest book and left a short note about their time in the solemn space. Flanked by Israeli and American flags, the president spoke gravely of the "millions of innocent, wonderful, and handsome lives, men, women, and children ... extinguished as part of a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people".

He also expressed firm support for Israel.

'We pledge never to be defenseless against that hatred again, ' he said.

Trump was presented with a replica of a personal album that belonged to a German Holocaust victim, Ester Goldstein.

Trump, a black kippah clipped to his fair hair, walked into the Hall of Remembrance with Netanyahu and wished "Shalom" to members of the Yad Vashem Council.

Sarna said Trump's upbringing in NY would surely have exposed him to the Holocaust and its impact on Jews.

Even George W. Bush, a man not exactly known for having "the best words", had the good sense to just write "God bless Israel" and avoid putting his foot in his mouth. Its press secretary once argued that Adolf Hitler's use of chemical weapons was more outrageous than Bashar al-Assad's, because at least the former never used poison gas "on his own people" (Hitler only used that stuff at his "Holocaust centers", Sean Spicer explained).

Trump has tried to make amends since those incidents, forcefully speaking out against anti-Semitism during an annual Holocaust remembrance ceremony in late April.

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