Deborah E Lipstadt, nominated to be Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, with the rank of ambassador. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Biden’s pick to combat anti-Semitism finally gets hearing

Describing herself as an “equal-opportunity foe of anti-Semitism”, President Joe Biden’s pick to monitor and combat prejudice against Jews around the world finally got her day before the Senate committee that will evaluate her nomination.

Biden had nominated Deborah Lipstadt to lead the State Department’s office for combatting anti-Semitism in late July. A hostage standoff last month at a Texas synagogue brought about new calls for the Senate to act on her nomination.

“We’ve seen a spike of anti-Semitism here at home and abroad, making this position exceedingly important,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York. said Tuesday.

But Lipstadt’s nomination languished in the Senate last year after she criticised comments from Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, who had said he wasn’t worried about the predominately white insurrectionists at the US Capitol, but might have been if they had been Black Lives Matter protesters.

Lipstadt tweeted the article last March with his comments and said, “This is white supremacy/nationalism. Pure and simple.”

Johnson challenged Lipstadt on her remarks during Tuesday’s hearing, saying it was about as serious and vile an accusation as one can hurl against another person. At another point, he accused her of engaging in “malicious poison.”

“You’ve never met me. You don’t know what’s in my heart. Do you?” he said.

Read the article by Kevin Freking in Sight Magazine.