Trump envoy to ‘Post’: Antisemitism at its worst since Holocaust

“This is not the 1930s but it is worse than it has been in the last few decades,” Carr said Thursday.

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February 21, 2019 13:19
2 minute read.
Elan Carr in Jerusalem.

Elan Carr in Jerusalem.. (photo credit: COURTESY ISRAEL EMBASSY)

 
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The Jewish people are facing the worst wave of antisemitism since the Holocaust, Elan Carr, the Trump administration’s new special envoy to combat antisemitism, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. 


Carr was appointed Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism earlier this month after the post had been vacant for two years since Donald Trump became president in 2016. 

Carr, 50, is a former criminal prosecutor and US Army veteran who served in Iraq and was national president of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi. Since taking office, Carr has plunged into his work, attending a conference on antisemitism organized by Slovakia and another one in Brussels arranged by the European Union. 

“This is not the 1930s but it is worse than it has been in the last few decades,” Carr said on Thursday. He was in Israel for two days to attend the annual gathering of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. 

Carr noted the rise in antisemitism worldwide, mentioning the desecration of close to 100 Jewish gravestones spray painted with swastikas in France. Thousands took to the streets in Paris denouncing the hatred and calling on the government there to take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

The rise in antisemitism, he said, cannot be attributed to one single country but is “worldwide” and is an “urgent crisis” that needs to be confronted with a “full-court press.” It includes recent events in France, attacks in the US like the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh in October, as well as continued efforts to delegitimize Israel and Zionism by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. 

His efforts include speaking up when seeing acts of hatred against Jews as well as empowering allies to work together to stop the antisemitism when it “rears its head.”

“Problems are deep,” he said, noting that there are occasional “rays of light," such as conferences which he participated in Europe, where the fight against antisemitism was featured as a key issue. 

Carr attributed the rise in antisemitism to Iran, which he said was a “hornet’s nest of antisemites” and responsible for spreading “malevolent ideologies” across the Middle East and around the world. 

In addition, here is a worrisome trend in Europe that has led to the “marriage of disparate ideologies” that also expresses itself with antisemitism, he said. 

When asked about Israel’s ties with nationalistic governments and leaders in Europe whose parties and members sometimes spread antisemitism, Carr said that he could not weigh in on the Jewish state’s foreign policy, but acknowledged that it was a sensitive issue.

Europe, he said, was a “complex environment” where certain parties on the Right can make antisemitic statements but then can be supportive of Israel because they view the Jewish state as emerging from a nationalistic movement.
“They have to be called out,” he said. 

Carr praised Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their commitment to the fight against antisemitism, citing the remarks the president dedicated to the topic during his recent State of the Union address. 

He said that American Jews need to have “hakarat hatov” (Hebrew for “gratitude”) for having the “best friend of the Jewish people in the White House.

“They should say thank you,” he said. 

 

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