Dani Dayan welcomed the talk-show host’s “important” apology, though said her remarks were evidence of a “fundamental misunderstanding” regarding the nature of anti-Semitism.
(February 1, 2022 / JNS) The chairman of Yad Vashem on Tuesday invited talk-show host Whoopi Goldberg to visit the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem to learn more about the causes of the Shoah. The invitation came on the heels of a controversy that erupted on Monday after Goldberg said on ABC‘s “The View” that “the Holocaust isn’t about race.”
The segment during which Goldberg make the remarks focused on the Tennessee school board’s decision to ban Maus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust. “Let’s be truthful about it … the Holocaust isn’t about race, ” said Goldberg. “It’s about man’s inhumanity to man. That’s what it’s about.”
Goldberg later apologized, saying, “As [ADL CEO and national director] Jonathan Greenblatt shared, ‘The Holocaust was about the Nazis’ systematic annihilation of the Jewish people—who they deemed to be an inferior race.’ I stand corrected.”
Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan welcomed the apology but said that Goldberg’s initial statement was indicative of a wider problem.
“The statement by Whoopi Goldberg on the ABC talk show ‘The View,’ only days after the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an unfortunate indication of a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism,” said Dayan in a statement.
“We must not mince words; people need to know what led to the Holocaust, the unprecedented murderous drive to annihilate the entire Jewish people their religion, culture and values by the Nazis and their collaborators, primarily because of the unfounded belief that Jews were their foremost and extremely dangerous racial enemy,” he continued.
While Goldberg’s apology and clarification were “important,” said Dayan. “I extend a personal invitation to her to learn more about the causes, events and aftermath of the Holocaust here at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.”