Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Adding Spicer to Passover

What a pleasure to celebrate Passover again at Ann & Jeff's house!

We dipped the bitter herbs, broke the matzo, and called out the twelve plagues of Exodus 7-12.

We sang "Da-da-yenu, da-da-yenu..."  ("It would have been enough for us...").  If God had just done X for us, it would have been enough.

Yet on Tuesday, just as on Sunday, people of faith were unable to observe Holy Week without interference.  On Sunday it was two bombings of Coptic churches in Egypt.

On Tuesday, the first day of Passover, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer added Hitler and the Holocaust to a comment on Assad and poison gas.

Really?  While millions of people are trying to celebrate Holy Week, he has to bring up the unholy?

Keeping kosher is a big part of Passover, using the proper dishes and foods, but I guess one can't keep polluted words and ideas out of the holiday.  

Ever tasked with justifying 45's words and deeds, Spicer glibly asserted that Assad was worse than Hitler because in contrast to Assad,  "you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

Then he dug himself in deeper by attempting to clarify, as Nicholas Fandos and Mark Landler point out in "Sean Spicer Raises Outcry with Talk of Hitler, Assad, and Poison Gas."

“I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” Mr. Spicer said, incorrectly, before mentioning “Holocaust centers,” an apparent reference to Nazi death camps.

Reality check: German Jews were Hitler's own people, just as pro-rebel Syrians are Assad's own people.

"Holocaust centers" were not like shopping centers or medical centers.  What a vague, convenient term: center.  These were death camps where poison gas was the mode of killing.

Anyone who saw the film Son of Saul would remember the poison gas rooms into which humans were herded by their keepers.  This film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film last year, but apparently Sean Spicer never viewed it.  

Even on Wednesday the misguided apologies kept coming.  Spicer mentioned Passover as coming "this weekend," unaware that it had already begun Monday evening.  Apparently he is culturally isolated--not a bad thing if you're a plumber, but definitely a problem for a White House press secretary.

These gaffes call to mind the statement issued by the White House in January for Holocaust Remembrance Day--omitting any reference to Jews.

Can't a people observe their religious holidays without being reminded of the worst years of their history?

No comments: