During his visit to Israel this week, on Tuesday President Trump stopped by the country’s national Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, as many United States presidents have done in the past. But unlike other former United States presidents who have visited, Trump spent only a scant half hour at the site, which did not allow him time for a full tour of the museum. He did, however, take a few moments to sign the guestbook, and his note to the memorial encapsulated everything we’ve come to expect from the reality TV star turned leader of the free world.
In all caps, Trump wrote in the guestbook: “IT IS A GREAT HONOR TO BE HERE WITH ALL OF MY FRIENDS — SO AMAZING & WILL NEVER FORGET!”
The tone of Trump’s note has invoked comparisons to the note left at the memorial by his predecessor, Barack Obama, who — while running for president in 2008 — visited the memorial and left a much more appropriate (not to mention “eloquent”) message.
I am grateful to Yad Vashem and all of those responsible for this remarkable institution. At a time of great peril and promise, war and strife, we are blessed to have such a powerful reminder of man’s potential for great evil, but also our capacity to rise up from tragedy and remake our world. Let our children come here, and know this history, so that they can add their voices to proclaim ‘never again’. And may we remember those who perished, not only as victims, but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed like us, and who have become symbols of the human spirit.
Many on Twitter were quick to point out the appallingly tone deaf nature of Trump’s note compared to Obama’s while noting that — perhaps coincidentally — Trump’s message added up to less than 140 characters, which is also the limit on Twitter.
In 2013, Justin Bieber came under fire for a note he left in the guestbook of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which was tonally not all that different from Trump’s, reading: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
At the time, Bieber was a 19-year-old pop star, while Donald Trump is the 70-year-old President of the United States.
(Via Washington Post)