An open letter to Mr. Sean Spicer

My esteemed colleague and fellow speaker:

My name is Yoram Dori. For many years I served as the media consultant for Shimon Peres, who held a variety of esteemed and critical positions in the highest political arenas in Israel. My job was similar to yours as Press Secretary in that I regularly spoke to and briefed reporters.

One of Mr. Peres’ sayings, engraved in my memory was: “Unfortunately, we have moved from a world of literacy to a world of ignorance”. In recent days, I have realized, with great pain, how correct he was.

Some say that what you uttered in your recent White House press briefing is a form of Holocaust Denial. Rather, I believe that this is not the case and that you are not truly afflicted with a severe case of anti-Antisemitism. I believe that your statement was made out of ignorance. Although it is hard to imagine that you achieved such a high-ranking position without a basic knowledge of monumental 20th-century events, it seems that, at least as far as human history in general and particularly the history of the Jewish people of the last century is concerned, you may be devoid of crucial knowledge. More worrying, I question your aptitude. In the many years I served as a spokesman and media consultant, I set myself an ironclad rule: before I briefed reporters or issued any statement or press release on any subject, I studied, investigated, and thoroughly examined the general background and facts so that I would not fail by saying anything inaccurate or foolish.

Your statements were disgraceful and hurt the feelings of millions of Jews around the world. They also hurt President Trump’s standing and the confidence people have in his willingness to oppose human rights abuses and acts of genocide, wherever they may occur. This kind of rhetoric insults the memory of the six million Jews, and one million gypsies, gays, and disabled people of other religions who were systematically exterminated by Hitler and his henchmen — BY GAS.

As with many Jews, the horrors of the Holocaust are personal to me. My aunt Sarah had four children: a daughter, Shulamit, and three sons: Mordechai, Yaakov and Avraham. The family lived peacefully in Frankfurt, Germany until Hitler came to power. In the early 1940s, the family was taken from their home, and Sarah and three of her children (Shulamit escaped to Palestine-Israel and survived) were deported from Germany to Auschwitz. There, in the death camp, they were brought to a place that looked like a shower, where they were sprayed by Zyklon B gas. As you should know, Zyklon B gas is colorless, but particularly deadly.

The children most probably managed to grind a little before they died. Perhaps they shouted out or scratched their fingers on the concrete walls. But all was in vain: Hitler’s gas killed Popel, Yebok, and Bomi ( the nicknames of the three children). Three children in my family were murdered by Hitler’s gas.

Mr. Spicer, I ask that on April 24th, you march together with thousands of others in the International March of The Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau where you will see the gas chambers where millions of Jews and others were murdered. I’m sure you will learn something about the atrocity that took place only 70 years ago.

About the Author
Yoram Dori is a longtime political and media strategic adviser. He served as the spokesman of the Israel labor party under the chairmanship of Ytzchak Rabin and served as the senior strategic adviser to Shimon Peres since 1990
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