Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said he believed statements commemorating the Holocaust “should include a reference to Jews specifically as part of the message,” unlike the statement released by President Donald Trump.
Trump’s Friday statement on the Holocaust has drawn criticism for omitting reference to six million Jews killed.
“The Holocaust resulted in the murder of millions of innocent Jews, as well as millions of other innocent human beings,” Zeldin said in a statement. “Personally, I believe that statements about International Holocaust Remembrance Day should include a reference to Jews specifically as part of the message.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday defended the statement and called critics “pathetic” and “nitpicking.”
“The president went out of his way to recognize the Holocaust and the suffering that went through it and the people that were affected by it and the loss of life,” Spicer said.
Jewish groups, including those tied to prominent Republicans, have criticized Trump’s statement, which said: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”
Zeldin is one of two Jewish Republicans in the U.S. House.