State Department’s antisemitism monitor position remains empty

In a letter to Trump dated Monday, the Anti-Defamation League called on the president to “make this critical appointment without delay.”

By JTA
April 4, 2018 06:23
1 minute read.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the mass shooting at a Florida high school.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the mass shooting at a Florida high school in a national address from the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2018. . (photo credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS)

 
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The position of antisemitism monitor has not been filled by President Donald Trump more than a year after it was vacated.

In addition, the State Department’s office to monitor and combat antisemitism has been unstaffed since July 1.

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A State Department official in January told JTA that the Trump administration considers the position of anti-Semitism monitor “crucial” and hopes to name one “soon.” The official did not provide a timeline on when the special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism would be appointed. But the tone was a pronounced change from the summer, when then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the position was not necessary and the issue was best handled by other departments in the agency.

In a letter to Trump dated Monday, the Anti-Defamation League called on the president to “make this critical appointment without delay.”


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Trump pledges to confront antisemitism while speaking at US Capitol Rotunda in Washington for Holocaust Memorial Museum's National Days of Remembrance ceremony , 4.25.17 (REUTERS)

“Antisemitism is escalating at an alarming pace around the globe,” said the letter, highlighting the murder of a Holocaust survivor in Paris and antisemitism in the Labour Party in Britain that led to a protest march by Jews there. The ADL also referred to the firebombing of two synagogues in Sweden in the last year and the increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric in Poland.

The White House and the State Department did not respond on Tuesday to a JTA query on the antisemitism monitor.



Congress mandated the position of special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism in 2004 with the passage of the Global Antisemitism Review Act. The measure directs the State Department to establish the Office to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, to be headed by the special envoy.

Ira Forman, the former executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, most recently served in the envoy position under President Barack Obama. A political appointee, Forman resigned when Obama left office.

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