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Trump touts his efforts to combat anti-Semitism in Holocaust remembrance message

Ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, US president acknowledges Jews still facing persecution, points to his contentious December executive order

US President Donald Trump visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem on May 23, 2017. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)
US President Donald Trump visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem on May 23, 2017. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)

JTA — US President Donald Trump declared a week of “Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust” in an official proclamation on Friday, while touting his administration’s ongoing “efforts to combat racist and anti-Semitic discrimination.”

The week of remembrance begins on Sunday, the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Holocaust Remembrance Day begins on Monday evening.

Trump noted that “among those murdered in the Holocaust were 6 million Jewish men, women, and children who became victims of the Third Reich’s unthinkably evil ‘Final Solution.’”

The proclamation also calls on Americans to “remember the millions of lives extinguished in the Holocaust, including those of Jewish, Polish, and Slavic ancestry, Roma and Sinti, individuals with mental and physical disabilities, gays, political dissidents, and dozens of other groups.”

Trump acknowledged that American Jews still face persecution, and pointed to his executive order on anti-Semitism issued in December.

The controversial order directs “robust” enforcement of existing civil rights protections for Jews on college campuses under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — which says attackers target Jews because they perceive them to be a race or having a shared national identity.

Critics of the order argued that the order implied that Judaism is a nationality.

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