Former ADL Chair to Ron Lauder: ‘Who’s Playing Politics?’

Ronald Lauder is to date the only Jewish leader defending President Donald Trump’s Holocaust statement.

In an email to Jewish Insider on Monday, Robert Sugarman, former National Chair of the Anti-Defamation League and the Conference of Presidents, said he was “distressed” to see Lauder, “who has played such an important role in helping to rebuild Jewish institutions in Europe after theHolocaust,” accuse the ADL of “playing politics” for criticizing Trump’s omission of Jews in his statement marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

“Were the Republican Jewish Coalition and ZOA, who also criticized the Administration’s statement, playing politics, as well? ” Sugarman asked.

Lauder met with Trump at Mar-A-Lago last month during the transition period. Following the meeting, a spokesperson for the World Jewish Congress President said that the two met “for a substantive, productive conversation on the issues that are most important to the global Jewish community.” Adding, “He looks forward to working closely with the Trump Administration on these issues and more.”

Ronald Lauder after meeting with Trump at Mar-A-Lago on Dec. 29, 2016

Ronald Lauder after meeting with Trump at Mar-A-Lago on Dec. 29, 2016

But while the President faced across the board, bipartisan criticism from American Jewish organizations and political groups, Lauder spoke out in defense of Trump. “It does no honor to the millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust to play politics with their memory,” Lauder said in a statement on Friday. “Any fair reading of the White House statement on International Holocaust Memorial Day will see it appropriately commemorates the suffering and the heroism that mark that dark chapter in modern history.”

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