The Trump administration is bad at holocausts (and not in a good way). On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the White House released a statement that didn’t mention Jews. Its press secretary once argued that Adolf Hitler’s use of chemical weapons was less 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).
The administration has been no more eloquent when broaching America’s homegrown mass atrocities. During a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the president (reportedly) offered the following reflection on the institution of chattel slavery: “Boy, that is just not good.” As for the genocide of Native Americans, Trump has made one of its perpetrators his official presidential role model.
So, it isn’t terribly surprising that Trump refused to allot more than 15 minutes for his trip to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, on Tuesday. Nor was it unexpected that his inscription in the museum’s “book of remembrance” would be less than moving.
But it’s still a bit odd that he signed said document as though it were the guest book at a bar mitzvah.
As Times of Israel reporter Raoul Wootliff notes, Barack Obama struck a slightly different note during his trip to Yad Vashem.