Deborah Lipstadt as next US antisemitism envoy

The US Senate voted on Wednesday night and confirmed without objection the nomination of Deborah Lipstadt as the next antisemitism envoy.

On March 30, the Senate of the United States finally voted to confirm Deborah Lipstadt’s nomination to become the next special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, a nomination that was postponed several times and took eight months to be finalised. Now it was confirmed without objection, reports The Jerusalem Post.

“It is time for the Senate, at long last, to confirm this nominee to fight antisemitism around the world on behalf of the United States, standing up for those values,” said Senator Jon Ossof, who presented the nomination.

“This isn’t ancient history, this is recent history,” he said. “And, right now, as we speak, the scourge of antisemitism is rising again in this country and around the world. If we mean the words ‘never again,’ then at long last, let’s confirm Deborah Lipstadt to fight antisemitism on behalf of the United States.”

Lipstadt is a professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and was the founding director of the Institute for Jewish Studies. She is the author of eight books, including the History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, a memoir that was published after her famous trial with British writer and Holocaust-denier David Irving, who sued her for libel in London in 2000. The trial resulted in a victory for Lipstadt.

Lipstadt was previously a member of the US Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Religious Persecution Abroad and was a board member of Hillel International, The Defiant Requiem and The Covenant Foundation.

World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder released a statement praising Lipstadt. “When President Biden first nominated Dr. Lipstadt to this critically important position, I said that he and Secretary of State Blinken could not have found anyone better qualified to confront today’s challenges, and 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,” he wrote.

Other congratulating statements followed, including one from the national president of the Hadassah Zionist organisation Rhoda Smolow.