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February 5, 2021 11:59 am

Lawmakers Urge Biden to Swiftly Appoint Ambassador on Antisemitism

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US President Joe Biden delivers his speech after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Jim Bourg – A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging US President Joe Biden to swiftly nominate an Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, citing the growing threat of antisemitism at home and abroad.

The letter, signed by 53 members of Congress and spearheaded by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), states that “violence inspired by antisemitism is an everyday concern for Jewish families, who must weigh the decision to freely practice their Judaism against the risk of violence that these rituals can invite. With threats of antisemitism increasing every year, strong American leadership is required to address them.”

In December, Congress passed the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Act, which upgrades the status of the special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, a position at the US State Department, to an ambassadorship, thereby requiring US Senate confirmation. Former President Donald Trump signed the bill into law before leaving office.

Having been vacant at the start of the Trump administration, the special envoy was designated in February 2019 with the appointment of Iraq war veteran and attorney Elan Carr.

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