Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spicer's Possible Downfall

If Israel says he has to go, he has to go.
Israeli politicians and commentators have reacted with fury and incredulity to comments made by Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, in which he suggested Hitler had not used poison gas on his own people and called Nazi extermination camps “Holocaust centres”.


Spicer’s assertion during the Jewish holiday of Passover provoked instant outrage on social media and from some Holocaust memorial groups, who accused him of minimising Hitler’s crimes.

Leading the charge was Yisrael Katz, a member of Likud, the party of the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Katz holds the intelligence and transportation portfolios in the Israeli cabinet.


“Sean Spicer’s statement that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons is severe and outrageous. We have a moral obligation that supersedes policy considerations. We must demand that he apologise, or resign.”

Well, he DID apologize. Sort of.
Katz later appeared to accept Spicer’s apology. “Since he apologised and retracted his remarks, as far as [I] am concerned, the matter is over,” he said in a statement, citing the “tremendous importance of historical truth and remembrance” of Holocaust victims.
That was easy.
Nachman Shai, another Zionist Union MP, who chairs the US-Israel relations lobby in the Israeli parliament, called on Donald Trump to condemn Spicer’s remarks.

“The White House urgently needs a history teacher,” Shai said. “Ignorance is not acceptable. Hitler used chemical weapons of mass destruction in a large scale that human history hadn’t seen until then, and since then.

“This a second failure of the White House recently, regarding the biggest tragedy that occurred to the Jewish people and took place in the 20th century,” he added, referring to a White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day that failed to mention directly the fate of Europe’s Jews.

Israel’s official Holocaust remembrance centre, Yad Vashem, issued a statement [...] “His statements imply a profound lack of knowledge of events of the second world war, including the Holocaust. Moreover, they are liable to strengthen the hands of those whose goal is to distort history.”


Writing in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the columnist Orly Azoulay claimed Spicer’s comments reflected an “implicit anti-semitism”.


Writing in Haaretz, Ofer Aderet said Spicer’s ignorance was “miserable”.

“First, Spicer’s sweeping claim that even Hitler didn’t sink to using chemical arms is just flat out wrong. In fact, Hitler used chemical weapons – gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and Zyklon B – to kill more people than anyone in history.

“Second, Spicer’s attempt to clarify his remark by saying that, unlike Assad, Hitler didn’t gas his own people is also mistaken. Hitler killed more than 200,000 Germans – both Jews and non-Jews.”
We may not have heard the last of this.  Spicer has been on shakey ground from the get go.  Not the brightest bulb on the tree.  Maybe they'll give him back his bunny suit this weekend and retire him from the press room.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.



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