Stephanie Z. Bonder
Stephanie Z. Bonder

Awakening on Passover morning…

When I woke up this morning, I took my usual glance at my cell phone to see the headlines and check my Facebook. It’s a habit, I have come by over the last few years and it’s hard to break even on a holiday. I was appalled at what I saw…

The president’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, had made an unbelievable statement.

Was this simply a mistake? I’m still trying to wrap my head around the words that came out of Spicer’s mouth. He took the atrocity of the Assad regime using chemical weapons against innocent civilians and compared it to the Holocaust. He stated, “You had someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

Am I going crazy? Did the person who is responsible for speaking for our president and responding to questions on national security, the economy, the health system, jobs, welfare, all issues relating to our country and national security, actually say that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons? Does he think that using gas to murder innocent people simply because they are Jews, does not count as chemical weapons? Is he insane?

Perhaps this is a statement on the education system in this county. Perhaps he skipped learning about World War II in his US History class in high school. Perhaps he didn’t pay attention. In my life, I have never heard of concentration camps referred to as “Holocaust centers.” Does he know what happened in the Holocaust? Does he know what Hitler’s “Final Solution” was? He certainly didn’t seem to understand the Holocaust in January on International Holocaust remembrance Day. Perhaps he needs to meet a survivor and find out personally how that person survived. How that person watched hundreds if not thousands of people forcibly marched into showers that were filled with gas. Systematic murder. Genocide.

It is incomprehensible to me, that a 45-year-old man, with a college education does understand the Holocaust. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that a man in such a position of power in the United States in 2017, living in Washington DC, is so unfamiliar with what happened during the Shoah. He has the US Holocaust museum down the street from his office. It’s about time he went for a visit.

Don’t think because I am so outraged by Spicer’s comments that I do not deplore the atrocities that are occurring in Syria. The tactics Assad uses to fight his war are unconscionable. His crimes against humanity are too great to count. The people of Syria have suffered for too many years.

But for Sean Spicer to make that comment, and then try to clarify it by using the term “Holocaust centers.” Then going on record and apologizing for his mistake and taking the blame, but asking for forgiveness…I cannot condone. He must resign or be fired. Our country needs a spokesperson with intelligence. A spokesperson who knows what he/she is talking about, not an ignoramus who gets angry at reporters for asking the questions they are obligated to ask.

So now it is time for me to take a deep breath and pray for the best. This Passover, I had dreamed of a cleansing, a new beginning. I’ve cleaned out my kitchen.¬†I’ve made a seder. Now I need to start anew. I would like to see a new press secretary in place when I wake up tomorrow… I wonder what I’ll see on my phone?

About the Author
Stephanie Z. Bonder is a true "Jersey Girl" raised in the beautiful Garden State of NJ. She developed her deep love for Israel when her father first started talking to her about Israel when she was a little girl. The family first went to Israel for her bat mitzvah and her Zionism grew. In college, Stephanie studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for her junior year abroad. Stephanie has dedicated much of her life to teaching young children at Golda Och Academy, a Solomon Schechter Day School in West Orange, N.J. In her volunteer hours, she is part of a 5 generation life member family of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. She currently is a member of the National Board. Stephanie continues to educate teens and adults on Jewish Peoplehood, Zionism and current events in Israel through her involvement with the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest and her synagogue, Congregation Agudath Israel. All of her blogs are her own personal opinions and do not represent the organizations with which she is affiliated.