Grayson regrets use of ‘holocaust’ in letter to ADL
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Grayson regrets use of ‘holocaust’ in letter to ADL

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) has told the Anti-Defamation League he regrets using the term "holocaust" to describe the current state of the U.S. health care system.

Grayson made the statement that the current health care system was a "holocaust in America" on Wednesday, as a response to criticism of his comments the previous day that the GOP position on health care reform was "Republicans want you to die quickly."

"I am Jewish and have relatives who died in the Holocaust," Grayson wrote in a letter Friday to the Florida regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Andrew Rosenkranz. "In no way did I mean to minimize the Holocaust. I regret the choice of words, and I will not repeat it."

Grayson was responding to a letter from Rosenkranz, which noted an earlier Grayson statement that using the term Holocaust "may not have been the best choice of words." Rosenkranz said the statement was "more than a poor choice of words" and that "using the Holocaust as an analogy for flaws in the current health care system is inappropriate and serves only to trivialize the murder of six million Jews and millions of others."

Grayson’s letter, and the ADL’s original letter, is after the jump:[[READMORE]]

Andrew L. Rosenkranz
Florida Regional Director
Anti-Defamation League

October 2, 2009

Dear Andrew:

I enjoyed our conversation yesterday.  I just wanted to re-iterate my thoughts regarding people’s concerns over my recent statement on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

I am Jewish and have relatives who died in the Holocaust.  In no way did I mean to minimize the Holocaust.  I regret the choice of words, and I will not repeat it.  I am a staunch supporter of Israel and on numerous occasions, I have said that Iran must be restrained to avoid another Holocaust.  I personally support the Anti-Defamation League and its work.
With Regards,
 
Alan Grayson
Member of Congress

And the original ADL letter:

U.S. House of Representatives

October 1, 2009

Dear Representative Grayson:

On behalf of the Anti-Defamation League, I am writing to object and raise concerns about your comparison of deficiencies in America’s health care system to a "holocaust in America."

No matter how dire one’s objections to health care or any other policy, invoking the Holocaust, the Nazi effort to exterminate the Jewish people, is offensive and has no place in a civil political discourse. We are aware that last night on the Rachel Maddow show you stated that referencing the Holocaust "may not have been the best choice of words." But it is worse than a poor choice of words. Using the Holocaust as an analogy for flaws in the current health care ystem is inappropriate and serves only to trivialize the murder of six million Jews and millions of others. Suggesting an equivalence between government inaction or a policy failure and the Holocaust demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of this unique tragedy in human history and is an affront to Holocaust survivors and to the memory of its victims.

We respect your right to engage in vigorous debate about the current health care system. However, we urge you to retract your statements and reject such odious comparisons in the future.

Sincerely,

Andrew L. Rosenkranz
Florida Regional Director
Anti-Defamation League