April 22, 2021

Cardin, Van Hollen Urge President Biden to Nominate Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) joined Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) and a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to expeditiously nominate a qualified Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in order to confront the rising level of anti-Semitism worldwide.

“Tragically, 76 years after the end of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism remains a serious and growing danger for Jews in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. According to a study by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, violent anti-Semitic attacks worldwide rose 18 percent in 2019, including at least 53 synagogues and 28 community centers and schools that were targeted,” the Senators wrote.

“Swiftly nominating a qualified Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism will help ensure that the United States remains a leader in combating anti-Semitism internationally and will equip the State Department with a designated senior diplomat to engage foreign governments to track and respond to this growing scourge. We encourage you to move quickly on the nomination, and look forward to working with you,” the Senators concluded.

In addition to Senators Cardin, Van Hollen, Rosen, and Lankford, the letter was also signed by Senators Feinstein (D-Calif.), Blunt (R-Mo.), Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Cotton (R-Ark.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Portman (R-Ohio), Capito (R-W.Va.), Warnock (D-Ga.), Boozman (R-Ark.), Booker (D-N.J.), Casey (D-Pa.), Cantwell (D-Wash.), Scott (R-S.C.), Sinema (D-Ariz.), Coons (D-Del.), Kelly (D-Ariz.), Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Rubio (R-Fla.).

The full text of the letter can be found below:

Dear President Biden:

As members of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, we urge you to expeditiously nominate a qualified Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in order to confront the rising level of anti-Semitism worldwide.

Tragically, 76 years after the end of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism remains a serious and growing danger for Jews in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. According to a study by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, violent anti-Semitic attacks worldwide rose 18 percent in 2019, including at least 53 synagogues and 28 community centers and schools that were targeted.

To combat the rising tide of global anti-Semitism, the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism works to promote accurate Holocaust education, improve the safety and security of at-risk Jewish communities, ensure foreign public officials condemn anti-Semitic discourse, and strengthen foreign judicial systems in their prosecution of anti-Semitic incidents. The Special Envoy is responsible for developing and implementing policies and projects to combat global anti-Semitism by working closely with foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society. Additionally, the Special Envoy coordinates and assists in developing the reports on anti-Semitism within the State Department’s annual Human Rights Reports and International Religious Freedom Report.

As you know, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2019 (PL 116-326), which passed both the House of Representatives and Senate unanimously and was signed into law on January 13, 2021, elevated the Special Envoy position to the rank of Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed ambassador, reporting  directly to the Secretary of State. It also requires the Ambassador to be a person of recognized distinction in the field of combating anti-Semitism.

Swiftly nominating a qualified Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism will help ensure that the United States remains a leader in combating anti-Semitism internationally and will equip the State Department with a designated senior diplomat to engage foreign governments to track and respond to this growing scourge. We encourage you to move quickly on the nomination, and look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,       

 

 

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