Jewish group denounces White House's choice for Preservation Commission

Nov 19, 2020 Travel News

A Jewish group denounces the White House for appointing a speechwriter who has met with white nationalists.

A prominent Jewish group on Wednesday criticized the White House for appointing a speechwriter the White House fired in 2018 to a commission tasked with monitoring Holocaust sites for attending a rally with white nationalists.

Speechwriter Darren Beattie was appointed this week to the Commission for the Preservation of American Heritage Abroad for a three-year term that will last in the Biden administration. The commission is tasked with identifying and preserving cemeteries and historic buildings in Europe, including sites used to primarily kill Jews during the Holocaust.

In 2018, Mr Beattie was fired from his position as speechwriter for Mr Trump after it was revealed that he participated in a 2016 panel with Peter Brimelow, the founder of the anti-immigrant site VDare, as the Southern Poverty Law Center tagged a website hateful.

The Anti-Defamation League denounced Mr. Beattie’s appointment.

It is absolutely scandalous that someone who has consorted with racists is even being considered for a post on a commission dedicated to the preservation of Holocaust memorials in Europe,” said group chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt. “We urge the administration to immediately revoke his appointment.”

Asked about his comments, Mr Beattie said of the group: “The ADL claims to be an organization that protects Jews, but it really exists to protect Democrats. As a Jewish supporter of Trump, I consider it an honor to be attacked by the far-left ADL and its disgraced leader, Jonathan Greenblatt. A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

Mr Beattie’s dismissal from the White House followed criticism that the Trump administration had fostered anti-immigrant sentiment and ties to white nationalists.

Shortly after Mr. Trump took office, the White House issued a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that failed to mention Jews. And in 2017, the president was exposed after he said there were “very good people on both sides” after a protester was killed at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.