Top Democrat Chuck Schumer condemns ‘troubling’ White House Holocaust statement
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Top Democrat Chuck Schumer condemns ‘troubling’ White House Holocaust statement

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaking with the media at the Capitol building, Jan. 31, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Sen. Chuck Schumer joined the growing list of Democrats to have condemned the White House International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, calling it “troubling and unfortunate.”

Schumer, the Senate minority leader from New York, made the comments Wednesday to Haaretz, a day after House Democrats failed to pass a resolution slamming the White House statement, which did not specifically mention Jews.

“The abominable Nazi Final Solution had as its target the extermination of the Jewish people. This is a fact. And one that must always be remembered,” Schumer told the Israeli daily. “It is troubling and unfortunate that the administration did not acknowledge and honor the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazi regime in the Shoah.”

Schumer’s great-grandmother and seven of her nine children were killed by the Nazis. On Jan. 26, the day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Schumer participated in the #WeRemember social media campaign.

The Jan. 27 White House statement was widely criticized by Jewish organizations for not singling out the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust. Jews were the primary targets of the Holocaust and the vast majority of its victims. But Trump administration officials have been defiant, saying the statement simply sought to be “inclusive.” On Monday, an aide to President Donald Trump called criticism of the statement “asinine.”

Democrats on Capitol Hill have tried to keep the issue alive. On Tuesday, Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., sought to force a vote on the resolution, which was sponsored by more than 100 Democrats, emphasizing that the Nazis targeted Jews during the Holocaust and calling on the White House to affirm that fact. But Republicans blocked the effort in a party-line vote.

“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,” Crowley said. “The Trump administration doubled down and defended its statement, despite many pointing out the consequences of such inaccuracies.”

On Saturday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., told Haaretz that the Trump White House was “in the camp of Holocaust denial” and that there were “anti-Semitic themes” in the administration’s statements and explanations.