WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and co-chair of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, today made the following statement on White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s comments regarding Hitler’s use of chemical weapons during the Holocaust:

“I am deeply disturbed by the White House Press Secretary’s comments yesterday—on the eve of the second Passover Seder—regarding the use chemical weapons during the Holocaust.  It is a fact that Adolf Hitler used such weapons of mass destruction to kill the Jewish people.  Any muddling of this is a clear diversion from reality and an insult to the Jewish community worldwide.

“While I am glad that Mr. Spicer has apologized, this White House has continuously undermined the fight against anti-Semitism.  From omitting the Jews from its statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, failing to immediately condemn the bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers in the United States and Canada, and now downplaying the horrors of the Holocaust in comparison to the violence in Syria, such words are simply unacceptable.”