US Senate Finally Confirms Deborah Lipstadt as Antisemitism Envoy
i24 News – The US Senate on Wednesday officially confirmed the appointment of Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt as the Biden administration’s antisemitism ambassador, ending an 8-month process.
A recognized expert on antisemitism and a professor of Jewish Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Lipstadt was nominated for the post by President Joe Biden last July, but her confirmation was held up by Republican unease with her perceived partisan politics.
A slew of Jewish groups lobbied the Senate to quickly confirm Lipstadt’s nomination, pointing to her high qualifications and arguing that leaving the post vacant significantly hampered the United States’ ability to confront a growing wave of antisemitism.
On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to move forward the nomination to the full Senate. The final vote was not expected to take place for several weeks, but Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia spoke on Wednesday night and called for the nomination to be approved by unanimous consent, to bring the process to a close.
“As we speak, the scourge of antisemitism is rising again in this country and around the world. If we want to say the words ‘never again,’ then finally, Madam President, let’s confirm Deborah Lipstadt to fight the antisemitism in the name of the United States,” Ossoff said.
US Jewish leaders on Thursday welcomed news of Lipstadt’s confirmation as long overdue.
“I am tremendously relieved that we will now have her powerful voice and moral leadership in the global fight against virulent and surging Jew-hatred, for make no mistake about it, that is what antisemitism is,” commented World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder.
William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, noted that “we are still haunted as a community by the attack on the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas at the beginning of the year. And this week in Israel, terrorists claiming allegiance to the Islamic State have killed 11 innocent people in three different cities.”
“We offer our full support at this critical time on behalf of American Jewry and look forward to working with Ambassador Lipstadt in the ongoing fight against antisemitism,” he continued.