USA - Biden nominates holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt as next antisemitism envoy

Professor Deborah Lipstadt
Holocaust historian and author, Professor Deborah Lipstadt has been nominated as the Biden administration’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, the White House announced Friday, after months of pressure from Jewish organizations to appoint someone to the position.

A professor of Jewish history at Emory University in Atlanta, 74-year-old 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.

The position in the State Department was created by Congress in 2004. Most recently, it was filled by Elan Carr during the Trump administration. It was upgraded to the rank of ambassador in the final months of the administration and will require Senate confirmation.

“Having spent her career fighting antisemitism and Holocaust denial, Deborah Lipstadt will ensure the US remains a leader in combating antisemitism globally,” commented US Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV). “Her nomination has my full support, and I look forward to working alongside her in our shared mission of protecting Jewish communities and combating antisemitism across the globe.”

Leading US Jewish organizations hailed the appointment, with B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin calling her “eminently qualified” for the job.

“B’nai B’rith looks forward to working with Lipstadt as antisemitism has spiked exponentially in the United States and around the world, manifesting itself in many forms and variants, oftentimes fueled by social media,” they said in a statement. “It is vitally important that the US government, through the person of the special envoy, continue to assume a leadership position in the battle against this alarmingly growing challenge.”

“The Biden administration has chosen wisely in appointing Deborah Lipstadt to fill this ambassadorial post, so vital to U.S. leadership in fighting antisemitism,” AJC CEO David Harris said in a news release. “Professor Lipstadt is one of this country’s, indeed the world’s, foremost experts on modern antisemitism, its constant morphing and multiple sources, and the current challenges to confronting it.”

Jewish groups over the past months had been lobbying the White House to appoint a candidate as violent acts of antisemitism have seen exponential growth in the United States and the world, especially in the aftermath of Israel’s conflict with Hamas in May.

The White House also announced on Friday its intended nominations for three other religious affairs roles, including Rashad Hussain as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, a choice praised by AJC for his “extensive engagement with the Muslim world” and his efforts to strengthen Muslim-Jewish relations.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum will be tapped as Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Khizr Khan , a religious freedom advocate and Gold Star parent of US Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed while serving in Iraq , will be appointed Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Source: ejpress