A top Trump adviser’s recent comments comparing the tragedy of the Holocaust to the current escalation of tensions between North Korea and the U.S. are unacceptable. In an August 10th radio interview with the BBC, top Trump National Security Adviser Sebastian Gorka suggested the U.S. should respond to North Korea’s verbal threats with more vigor. “And he asked this elder gentleman, [a Holocaust survivor] 'what is your one take home? What is your one lesson learnt from the horrors of the millions killed?' And he said, 'it's very simple. When a group of people repeatedly says they want to kill you, sooner or later you should take them seriously,'" Gorka told the BBC host.
The Holocaust survivor was right. Gorka was wrong to politicize his comments.
Unfortunately, however, this is not the first time that the Trump administration has trivialized the tragedy of the Holocaust for political gain. On April 11, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer callously referred to concentration camps as “Holocaust Centers” and stated that Hitler never used chemical weapons on his own people in an attempt to highlight the atrocities of the Assad regime in Syria, effectively insinuating that German Jews were not German. In a January White House statement commemorating International Holocaust Memorial Day, Trump failed to acknowledge that 6 million victims of the Holocaust were Jewish. In late June, a Trump appointee for the Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy tweeted that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was an “arrogant, self-hating Jew.” Back in April, many Jewish institutions criticized Trump for not adequately addressing the high volume of bomb threats targeting Jewish communal institutions. When a Jewish reporter questioned Trump’s silence on the issue, Trump berated the reporter and declared himself the least anti-Semitic person.