Thursday, May 18, 2017
Mr. President: Do Not Do a Drive-by
I know that presidential visits are jam packed with meetings and events, and that there are many demands on your time. Reports are that you are scheduled to spend 15 minutes visiting Yad Vashem. I do not know if this is due to scheduling demands or to your personal inclinations.
In any event, if that is all the time you have to devote to learning about and paying respects to the slaughter of six millions Jews and millions of non-Jews, as well as to the plan to completely destroy the Jewish people and their religion and culture, I request that you not visit.
It is impossible to have a serious visit in 15 minutes. Everyone knows that. It is an insult to those who were murdered and to those that survived the unspeakable torture of the Holocaust to do a drive-by visit to the solemn ground that is Yad Vashem. It violates its sanctity. It would be akin to dropping by Arlington National Cemetery for a photo op on your way to a meeting..
If you cannot make a serious visit to Yad Vashem that devotes appropriate time for and pays proper respect to the history and memory of the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust, it would be better for you not to go at all.
(Originally published in The Times of Israel)