Republicans Won’t Defy Trump on His Holocaust Statement – and Israel Should Pay Attention

T. Belman.  The harshness with which the Trump administration reject criticism is unfathomable.  Why is Trump doing this? Friends don’t do this to friends.

The way a resolution to restate Jewish focus of Holocaust was shot down sends unmistakable signal when it comes to new rules of power in D.C, Jewish community and, by extension, Israel.

By Allison Kaplan Sommer, HAARETZ

Republican members of the House of Representatives gather in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill as the 115th Congress convened in Washington, January 3, 2017.

Any hope of a congressional repudiation of the White House Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that left out Jews and anti-Semitism fell victim to partisan politics on Tuesday.

A proposed resolution in the House of Representatives would have contravened the White House statement, declaring “the indisputable fact that the Nazi regime targeted the Jewish people in its perpetration of the Holocaust and calling on every entity in the executive branch to affirm that fact.”

Introduced by Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York last week, the resolution would have pushed back against the statement and the White House’s defense of the decision as an intentional move to be “inclusive” of all Holocaust victims. U.S. President Donald Trump’s spokespeople have repeatedly refused to express regret or apologize for it, after nearly every American Jewish organization criticized it – including those who support the new president, like the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Zionist Organization of America. From his podium, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called such criticism “ridiculous,” “disappointing” and “pathetic.”

In an effort to push the resolution forward on Tuesday, Crowley, who serves as the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, took to the floor and argued that Congress must “restate the truth as clearly as we can – the White House was wrong on this.” The congressman added that “it is beyond belief that President Trump would allow a Holocaust remembrance statement to go out under the banner of his White House that did not discuss the genocide perpetrated against the Jewish people.”

According to a report in the Washington Examiner, the declaration was made during the debate concerning three resolutions disapproving of three Obama administration rules about the Bureau of Land Management and Education Department. Crowley attempted to defeat a procedural vote in order to force Republicans to consider his resolution.
Crowley was ultimately unsuccessful. Republicans rejected the his plan in a party-line vote.

The way this played out sends an unmistakable signal when it comes to the new rules of power in Washington, the American Jewish community and, by extension, Israel. Under the Obama administration, whenever the winds seemed to be blowing cold from the White House or the Democratic Party on an issue of concern, there was always a last recourse of support in Congress in the Republican Party. While turning to GOP supporters didn’t automatically tip the scales on issues of concern to American Jews (usually Israel), it was at least an opportunity for advocates to counterpunch and make a strong public statement, putting pressure on the executive branch.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu most famously took advantage of this dynamic during the divisive debate on the Iran nuclear agreement by getting himself an invitation to address the Senate to argue against Obama’s deal.
To be sure, a statement about the Holocaust is not the same as a high-stakes deal. But the dynamics of how it played out are instructive and Israel should pay close attention.

When Crowley first sent out a “Dear Colleagues” letter to rally support for his resolution, his intention was to make it bipartisan. That idea hit a brick wall when over 100 Democrats but not a single Republican signed on.

The congressman’s plan, according to a report in The Hill, had been to try and force a floor vote on the matter by collecting 218 signatures, for which he would “need support from 24 Republicans to bypass GOP leaders and bring the resolution directly to the floor.” That plan failed, too, and there was no indication that Republicans were at all interested in negotiating softer language.

However, the fact that Republicans in Congress will not stand with the Jews on the Holocaust statement should serve as a warning: When a conflict occurs between the Jewish community and the Trump White House, it can’t look to Congress for any kind of relief.

When it comes to Donald Trump, you are either with him or against him. That point was hammered home on Monday, when Trump aide Sebastian Gorka told a conservative talk show host that “asinine” and “absurd” criticism of the Holocaust statement was solely driven by a desire to “attack the president.”

Netanyahu seems to be getting the message. He has clearly been taking his cues from the Trump team, refusing to criticize it over the problematic Holocaust statement and – like the White House – remaining silent about the wave of anti-Semitism that has resulted in repeated waves of bomb threats against over 50 Jewish institutions in the United States.

Anyone who hopes or believes Netanyahu will raise either of these issues when he meets with Trump in Washington next week will surely be disappointed.

The harsh new reality puts Netanyahu in a weakened and utterly Trump-dependent position. His government has alienated much of the congressional Democrat leadership over the past eight years, and in their minority position, the friendships that do remain are of limited value.

Now he must see clearly that if his longtime pals in the GOP are forced choose between Israel and their man in the White House, there is little doubt now – if there ever was – who he will choose.

February 8, 2017 | 22 Comments » | 42 views

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22 Comments / 22 Comments

  1. The Identity Politics of this new Democratic Party relies on a ‘Holocaust Victim’ frame for American Jewish Identity.

    For American Jews it is both easier and safer to rally around victimization than victory. It spares us the negative side-effects of dual-loyalty accusations and plays into what politically correct culture values above all else: the persecuted minority. The Holocaust has managed to do what no one person or event has ever been able to accomplish: Allow Jews to fit into the larger American culture while retaining their unique identity as Jews. …

    Meanwhile, in other not-reported news:

    January 19, 2017 Special Dispatch No.6751

    “Saudi Writer: Ahwaz Region Deserves Self-Determination; Its Occupation By Iran Is No Less Barbaric Than Palestine’s Occupation By Israel

    Every so often, the issue of Iran’s Ahwaz region, home to an oppressed Arab minority that seeks independence, comes up in the Arab press. On December 3, 2016, an international conference on Ahwaz was held in Tunisia by the Euro Arab Center for Studies, in conjunction with the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz. Titled “Ending the Occupation and Restoring the Country – An Historic Duty,” it was attended by MPs, legal experts, and media figures from Arab countries and from around the world, as well as a large number of Ahwazi activists. …”

    The WH Holocaust statement was a diplomatic nod to Russia, and Poland, view of the Holocaust. Would Israel rather face Hezbollah’s missiles and Iran’s ballistic missiles?

  2. It seems to me there is something deeper going on here and that maybe Trump is setting the stage for ‘peace’ negotiations. Similar to when he said settlements may not be helpful and the silence over the embassy move, these may all be a preface to being able to say that he is not biased to favor one group over another.

    Once Abbas walks out of the negotiations which he inevitably will, as he did in the past, Trump can then turn around and slam the PA and show them for what they are and unilaterally move against them and fully support Israel.

    I think this writer is taking a very superficial view of this and a deliberate strategy is being implemented here that cannot be revealed. Its called negotiations. I guess we will have to wait and see.

  3. Trump never admits error no does he ever apologize for anything.

    Re: Holocaust, about time Jews are stripped from their collective fig leaf of martyrdom especially since few did anything to mitigate any help to European Jews and most of the elite leadership turned their backs on European Jews and supported FDR who actively sealed the fate of the Jews.
    If any group of Jews have no moral standing in complaint against Trump and the GOP lawmakers it’s American Jews….

    I care what Trump does and less what he says or not says…. If he can defeat ISIS and reduce the Iranian threat to Israel, then he should be supported… Most American Jews did not support him and still don’t. Having supported Obama and HRC by vast majorities it shows the American Jews to have no moral case or standing in criticizing Trump. No President even Carter has been more inimical to Jews, Israel and specific Jewish interests and concerns.

    He could have issued a more inclusive and Jewish sensitive statement but he didn’t but expectations that Republicans will buck Trump at this stage of his admin is naive. Jews have support generally in the GOP but all have collective self interest in being on the right side of Trump for now. Jews don’t stand a chance in hell of Trumping that equation.

  4. @ Elie:

    Trump has enough leverage (much dinero) that is a major part of PA annual funding. Eliminate that funding and the PA will cease to exist. No need for such children’s games but gamesmanship is a more potent weapon.

  5. First of all, Haaretz is a liberal left paper. Second, so many American Jews not only did not
    Vote for Trump, but they demonized him every chance they get. Hundreds of rabbis printed lists of their opposition before the election.Many Jewish organizations are participating in the
    Recent immigration ban, where they proclaim their ” togetherness” with the Muslims and call it a ” Muslim Ban”. Trump likes to stand by those who support him. In Los Angeles the Jewish Journal editor, Rob Eshman, is virulently anti Trump, and this echoes in the publications of Jewish papers around the country. Then…..there are the Jewish Never Trumpers like Ben Shapiro, Bill Kristol and other Jewish Republicans.
    So…….we’ll see what happens.

  6. To play devils advocate.

    This is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and not Yom HaShoah or Yom HaZikaron .

    Where am I going wrong?

  7. yamit82 Said:

    especially since few did anything to mitigate any help to European Jews</blockquote

    I presume you mean few did anything to "help", and that "mitigate" was a mind typo.

  8. yamit 82 is on target. all this self-righteous wailing from the likes of the ADL is off-putting. plus i think Trump might be a bit tired of all the Jewish stuff being forever front and center, so he made the international holocaust day– international!… and universal, and honored all victims. is this a degradation of Jewish suffering? it’s in the eye of the beholder. personally., I don’t think it is a degradation, though if this kind of thing repeats itself, a case can be made for indifference to the special torment of jewish during the Holocaust. meantime, enough with the search for negative ulterior motives and let’s play ball with Trump, the best thing that has happened to Israel!

  9. yamit82 Said:

    @ Elie:

    Trump has enough leverage (much dinero) that is a major part of PA annual funding. Eliminate that funding and the PA will cease to exist. No need for such children’s games but gamesmanship is a more potent weapon.

    The only problem with this line of thought is that even in the event that Trump cuts all or most of the PA’s funding, those brain dead, suicidal, not to mention anti-Semitic Europeans will in all likelihood offer to pick up the tab by increasing whatever they already pay to Abu Mazen…, I mean the PA.

  10. Utter nonsense! This is nothing but post-modern ‘deconstruction’ nitpicking of Trump’s comments; pretending to be offended because (as Ted Belman said early-on in the Trump campaign) he didn’t kiss the behinds (or the rings) of the long-time hypocritical ‘Jewish Establishment.

    The Israeli government and the parallel government established by the self-declared ‘holy’ leaders of the ‘ultra-orthodox’ communities have a terrifying history of aiding our worst enemies and punishing those who work for a genuinely Jewish state (Feiglin, Khane, Ettinger, and many others). The legal system also facilitates our enemies. The general ethos here (in Israel) is too much like what happened in Buchenwald and other concentration camps… as Eric Hoffer points out in ‘The True Believer’: “Instead of studying the way in which they could best help each other they used all their ingenuity to dominate and oppress each other.”

    Also, we should stop calling the horrible events of the last century by a term that is the Greek rendering of something holy… the korban. It was a SHOAH that could’ve easily been prevented, were it not for the actions of the fanatical anti-Zionists and the equally fanatical & prejudiced Ben Gurion Leftist Zionists.

    The modern-day inheritors of the governmental, legal, military, and financial ogranizations that make up ‘The Jewish Establishment’ follow the same misguided, often hateful policies of their predecessors who refused to act against what was being done to Jews in the last century. The uncomfortable truth is that those who dominate ‘The Establishment’ still do all they can to demonize and marginalize those who dare to question their policies and actions.

    Don’t take the bait and join the anti-Trump idiocracy. For the first time in the history of political Zionism we have a chance to do something other than cower, snivel, and bow to the whims and caprices of the goyim. Trump needs to be inundated with historical and legal facts, not treated like an enemy.

  11. WB Said:

    (as Ted Belman said early-on in the Trump campaign) he didn’t kiss the behinds (or the rings) of the long-time hypocritical ‘Jewish Establishment.

    Doesn’t sound familiar to me.

  12. @ yamit82:
    My opinion about sensitivities of the mainly idiotic and liberal American Jews is identical with yours. The only way the Jewish dead of the Nazi holocaust can be brought back to life is to grow it anew on the soil of Eretz Yisrael. All that counts in this world is power and its steadfast application. With Hamas now openly joining the ranks of ISIS, that can be used as a lever with President Trump to destroy Hamas once and for all. In any case, any Israelis worried about twists and turns in US policy toward Israel ought to focus on building Israel’s independence from all the goyim, including the friendly ones.

    Arnold Harris, Outspeaker

  13. yamit82 Said:

    Trump never admits error no does he ever apologize for anything.

    ” Never make excuses, never apologize”. John Wayne ” She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”.

  14. @ honeybee:
    That about covers it. Hopefully*, next year, he will get Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — who provoked outrage from liberals for attending the inauguration — to write it. My guess is that what happened is that Trump delegated the task to a Jewish aide who was — typically — afraid of being accused of favoritism or dual loyalty and so opted for bland generalities, rationalizing that it included the Jewish victims but not realizing it was doing what the Soviet Union had done and what Europeans and Leftists are trying to do today.

    Yevtushenko was one of those who broke the silence. I remember going with my mother when I was little to hear him at Madison Square Garden. It was packed.

    “Yevgeny Yevtushenko Recites Babi Yar”

    This is what I wrote to my liberal Mother when she sent me the NYT article about this:

    “I read it. I wasn’t thrilled with the universalization of the Shoah. Nothing to do with Bannon. Bannon is not racist or anti-semitic. That’s an unsubstantiated smear. I’ve been a Breitbart reader for a long time. He’s philo-semitic and pro-Israel.

    Jews in positions of power in America will bend over backwards, as a general rule, to screw their own people now and then to show that they don’t have dual loyalty. I prefer a philo-semitic Christian any day.

    Obama did the same thing with his so-called Chanukkha celebration at the White House which was just a call to Jews to make concessions and feel guilty and he had no religious Jews in attendance right before his reverent eid celebration.

    Actually, the only thing Trump has done differently from Obama so far is to say he has no problem with Jewish Settlement within existing blocs or borders but finds additional settlements “unhelpful.” Obama called all construction or expansion of Jewish homes in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem, “illegal” and engineered a UN resolution calling all of the Jewish holy sites occupied territory. I have a problem with a few minor things that probably wouldn’t bother you like delaying moving the embassy and saying any settlement is unhelpul, but Trump is doing what he was elected to do, what I voted for him to do.

    There is no Muslim ban. I would like there to be, but there isn’t. He has temporarily restricted immigration from the seven countries Obama designated as security threats and sometimes restricted entry from. Six of the seven don’t allow entry of anybody with an Israeli passport. He has, however, stopped indefinitely the Syrian refugee program, thank god. Islam uses migration as a tool of conquest, Isis is openly embedding terrorists in their midst, and genuine Muslims revered Mohammed and follow his example. So either they or their children are likely to become monsters. Have you been following what’s happening in Europe? And here to a lesser extent. Many of them are killers and rapists, most are anti-semites. I am opposed to all Muslim immigration. 80 percent of Mosques are funded from abroad by extremist Muslim states or the Muslim Brotherhood. They should be shut down and Muslims should be watched.

    I also agree with the wall.

    Union leaders love Trump. He is bringing back business and jobs. The Dow was the highest it’s ever been.

    I don’t agree with Roe v. Wade, either. Let the states decide. Not 9 unelected lawyers. Sonograms show that the fetus is fully formed very early on. I am especially horrified by partial birth abortion.

    If Trump can’t deny federal funding to states that defy federal immigration law, then the drinking age has to be reduced to 18 again because that’s how it was done and the highway mortality rate each year cut in half.

    What’s wrong with having a wall and enforcing immigration rules? Isn’t it just basic to having a safe country and isn’t it simply fairness to all of the legal immigrants who jumped through all the hoops not to have these scofflaws and other criminals jump the line?

    Trump says he will make sure no one goes without healthcare. Isn’t it better to have competitive insurance across state lines? Doesn’t apply to you or I but most people couldn’t afford the premiums, had such high co-pays, it was like not having any insurance, and they were punished by the IRS if they didn’t get one of the approved insurance plans. The thing was falling apart anyway, with all of the insurance companies leaving one by one.

    I don’t believe law abiding citizens should be discouraged from carrying concealed weapons. It prevents violence. Most of the massacres and the most violent crime is in places where you have Democratic rule and the most stringent gun controls.

    I have opinions on many things and I agree with Trump on most things, I disagree on a few like privatizing prisons, but almost none of them determine how I vote.

    I switched Democrat to Independent in January 2008 because I couldn’t stand to be in the same party as a man who made the Prime Minister of Israel use the service entrance, made him then wait for two hours while he had a leisurely dinner upstairs with his family and then talked trash to the press with his feet on the desk, who made a tour of the Middle East, excluding Israel, and then from Cairo said Israel was only reborn because of the Holocaust.

    I switched to Republican in 2015 — in NY, you have to switch a year in advance — to vote for Mike Huckabee because he is the only Republican — even though virtually all of them are much more supportive of Israel than any of the Democrats, including Schumer who backed a Farakhan/Muslim Brotherhood supporter for head of the DNC, the kapo schmuck, who recognizes all of Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank) as an inalienable part of the Jewish State, Israel, and backs all Jewish settlement as called for by international law (ask me if you have a question about this, every UN resolution from Partition on, limiting Jewish settlement in Yesha (Judea and Samaria) is illegal, The laws were set in 1920, 1922, and 1925 and can’t be changed, aside from historical right.)

    In a nutshell, I support Bennett in Israel who calls for applying Jewish sovereignty to all of the West Bank. I oppose Arab Autonomy. I agree with Meir Kahane who called for voluntary Arab emigration. I believe only loyal, Zionist Jews should have citizenship and only friends of the Jewish people should have residency.

    Nothing undemocratic about it. Isn’t Japan a democracy? They don’t allow Muslims in and generations of Koreans born there are only permanent residents without the vote. That’s my model. And the International Community? Can go screw themselves. They hate Israel and what her gone. If any way can be found to punish them, I’m all for it. You know, Goyim literally means, “the nations.””

    *I am aware that “hopefully” is wrong as it means to do something with hope rather than the intended, “it is to be hoped” but it has entered the language as a colloquial convention and hopefully will be recognized as such, eventually, by dictionaries, like “irregardless” for “regardless” which started out as a joke but is now part of the language. We have “common” language as well as law which evolves in response to usage over time, as opposed to, say, French, which has the Academie Francaise deciding what is in and what is out. That is why Muslim anti-semites and their left-wing lackies in academia are busy trying to redefine words that have emotional resonance like “anti-semitism” and “Holocaust” out of existence. Holocaust minimization is easier to pull off than outright denial. The NY Times did that when it buried the news in the back pages along with unrelated atrocities. The Congress did that right after the war, as can be seen at the above cited article link, when they almost prioritized the ethnic Germans kicked out of formerly Nazi-occupied lands over Jews (the way Obama prioritized Muslim “refugees” (really migrants, for the most part) over real Christian and Yazidi refugees.)

  15. @ Jake:

    Every time I see Jewish organization raising funds ” in the Name of the Holocaust”, frankly I gag. If I send the ADL. AJC or AIPC funds , how in the Name of the Almighty, will that make up for the starvation death of my 2yr. old cousin Mimi, in the Lodz Ghetto.

  16. @ honeybee:

    “More Than Half of NYC Holocaust Survivors Living in Poverty despite Reparations”

    Holocaust survivors sue Hungarian government
    14 survivors, some from Israel, file class action lawsuit in the US, claiming that Hungary and its national train company are complicit in the deportation of over a half a million Jews, and in the confiscation of their property.
    Itamar Eichner|Published: 04.02.16 ,,7340,L-4762071,00.html

    Dutch halt reparations to Holocaust survivors receiving them elsewhere
    The Netherlands has decided to stop payments to Dutch survivors who already receive a payment from Israel; Israel’s Holocaust Survivors’ Rights Authority sent notice to survivors stating that survivors already receiving a payment cannot be paid by Israel.
    Omri Efraim|Published: 03.02.16 ,,7340,L-4761397,00.html

    MainAll NewsJewish WorldHungary Signs New Holocaust Survivor Reparation Deal

    Hungary Signs New Holocaust Survivor Reparation Deal
    Hungary announces deal with US-based Holocaust restitution organization on reparations for Hungarian Holocaust survivors.

    “… district had assigned its roughly 2,000 eighth-graders an in-class essay assignment arguing whether or not the Holocaust occurred….” Under the aegis of Interim District Supervisor Mohammad Z. Mohammad.

    United States Memorial Holocaust Museum

    Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center

    I googled: Holocaust Oral History

  17. Your welcome. Here’s another:

    And these examples were from New York and California which have the largest Jewish populations in the country!

    This is why every generation must be educated anew and Moslems and their supporters must be kept out and where ever possible, deported or imprisoned. They must have zero access to education.

    Look at this:

    He should be imprisoned for racist incitement.

    The police need to be authorized to smash their heads in, arrest them, and fine or sue them for everything they will ever earn!

    McGill U Student Leader Justifies Encouraging Social Media Followers to ‘Punch a Zionist’ Due to Israel’s ‘Colonialism of Palestine’

    it’s endless. There needs to be a crackdown on schools and universities, faculty, administrators and students.

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