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Jewish teams urge Senate to carry listening to on antisemitism envoy

(RNS) — Three Jewish organizations have written to the Senate International Relations Committee to induce its members to rush up and schedule a listening to on President Biden’s decide for an antisemitism envoy, the famend Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt.

“Antisemitism continues to be a scourge throughout the globe,” wrote leaders from three teams: the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Anti-Defamation League.

“Even for these of our organizations that typically have a coverage to neither endorse nor oppose nominees pending earlier than the Senate for affirmation, we’re compelled to induce you.”

Biden nominated Lipstadt to the submit monitoring antisemitism overseas for the U.S. State Division in July. However the envoy place, which was elevated to ambassador stage final yr, requires Senate affirmation. No listening to on the affirmation has been scheduled but.

Just lately, some members of the Senate International Relations Committee have complained about Lipstadt’s previous tweets through which she has criticized Republican senators over varied statements. Particularly, she denounced Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican and member of the International Relations Committee, on Twitter after he defended the insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, saying, they “love this nation.”

“She has mentioned sufficient issues on Twitter that it must be reviewed fastidiously — significantly about members of the committee, which is all the time fairly delicate,” International Relations Rating Member Jim Risch, a Republican from Idaho, advised Jewish Insider.

RELATED: ‘If you care about democratic society, fight anti-Semitism’

Lipstadt’s credentials should not a lot debated. She is finest recognized for profitable a libel case in the UK filed by Holocaust denier David Irving. The story of the case impressed the 2016 film “Denial,” through which Lipstadt was portrayed by Rachel Weisz. She teaches at Emory College the place she is professor of recent Jewish historical past and Holocaust research.

This week, Lipstadt testified in court on behalf of a bunch from Charlottesville, Virginia, that sued organizers of the 2017 Unite the Proper Rally, through which far-right extremists marched within the streets shouting, “Jews is not going to change us.”

Nathan Diament, government director for public coverage on the Orthodox Union, mentioned there may be an urgency in filling the submit due to rising antisemitism overseas. (The envoy wouldn’t be inspecting situations of antisemitism within the U.S.)

The letter to the overseas relations committee cites rising European laws to ban kosher slaughter of meat in addition to ritual circumcision.

However the collaboration of the Orthodox Union, the Jewish Federations and the ADL on the letter to the Senate committee suggests the group can also be involved about political squabbling within the U.S. that may delay the appointment.

“We’re making an attempt to enchantment to senators in numerous components of the political spectrum,” Diament mentioned. “It’s not like we anticipated her to have a listening to and get confirmed 5 minutes after she was nominated. Now the Senate International Relations Committee has all of the paperwork. Chairman (Robert) Menendez desires to maneuver this ahead to a listening to. The delay just isn’t excusable at this level.”

RELATED: EU unveils strategy to tackle rising antisemitism in Europe


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