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November 5, 2021 2:59 pm
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US Jewish Groups Call for ‘Overdue’ Confirmation Hearing of State Dept. Antisemitism Envoy

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Holocaust expert and author Dr. Deborah Lipstadt. Photo: Emory University

Several US Jewish groups have called for the swift confirmation of Holocaust history Deborah Lipstadt to serve as the Biden administration’s antisemitism envoy, following reports of delays in her Senate hearing process.

A professor of Jewish history at Emory University in Atlanta, Lipstadt was appointed in July as the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. The post will hold the rank of ambassador for the first time due to bipartisan legislation passed in January, thus requiring Senate confirmation.

Jewish Insider reported Wednesday that Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were still in the process of reviewing past tweets by Lipstadt that were harshly critical of committee members, including charges of “white nationalism.”

On Friday, B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin called on the senators to lift any hold on Lipstadt’s confirmation.

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“Her distinguished academic background, along with her active engagement in the fight against antisemitism, makes her eminently qualified for the post,” they said in a statement. “The special envoy position is vitally important to the fight against the dramatic rise in antisemitism globally in all of its manifestations.”

In a letter sent Thursday to Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID), the Jewish Federations of North America, the Orthodox Union, and the Anti-Defamation League called the hearing “overdue.”

“Even for those of our organizations that generally have a policy to neither endorse nor oppose nominees pending before the Senate for confirmation, we are compelled to urge you to hold the Committee’s hearing on Prof. Lipstadt’s nomination without further delay,” the groups said.

“The global Jewish community needs the United States to be a leader in the fight against antisemitism and we must not waste more time leaving our
lead official in this fight off the field.”

Lipstadt was the founding director of its Institute for Jewish Studies, and has penned works on the American press during the Holocaust, the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and her own successful court battle against British Holocaust denier David Irving.

If confirmed, she would succeed former Los Angeles prosecutor Elan Carr, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2019.

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