A bipartisan group has organized a private, after-hours tour of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., for members of Congress on July 16.
An invitation was released on Thursday by the organizers: Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Susie Lee (D-Nev.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Elaine Luria (D-Va.).
“Now, more than ever, it is important to rededicate ourselves to the work of remembering the Holocaust and learning the lessons of the attempt to eliminate European Jewry,” stated the letter.
Next week’s Holocaust Memorial tour comes amid backlash against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) saying in an Instagram video last month that the United States is “running concentration camps on our southern border,” in reference to the migrant detention centers there.
Other, most notably Muslim Congresspersons in Congress, have also refused to apologize for past or even more recent statements denying everything from the Holocaust to Israel’s right to exist as a nation–which is a key platform of the terrorist group Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
In response, the USHMM posted on its website that it “unequivocally rejects efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events, whether historical or contemporary. That position has repeatedly and unambiguously been made clear in the Museum’s official statement on the matter—a statement that is reiterated and reaffirmed now.”
“The Museum further reiterates that a statement ascribed to a Museum staff historian regarding recent attempts to analogize the situation on the United States southern border to concentration camps in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s does not reflect the position of the Museum,” it continued. “The Museum deeply regrets any offense to Holocaust survivors and others that may have been engendered by any statement ascribed to a Museum historian in a personal capacity.”
It is currently unknown if Ocasio-Cortez will partake in the tour. Her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.