By Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON — The bipartisan Senate anti-Semitism task force urged President Joe Biden to name a State Department monitor to combat anti-Semitism.
“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,” said the letter sent Monday and spearheaded by Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Jim Lankford, R-Okla, the task force chairs, and signed by another 20 senators on the panel.
“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 letter noted that a law passed just before President Donald Trump left office elevates the position to ambassador level, lending it more prestige and clout within the State Department. The new designation also means that any nominee requires Senate confirmation.
The task force brings together senators who otherwise would have little to do with one another in an increasingly polarized Senate. Among the signatories are Tom Cotton, the conservative Republican from Arkansas, and Raphael Warnock, the freshman liberal from Georgia.
Speculation within the organized Jewish community has been rife as to who will get the job, with a number of figures named as front-runners. Some applicants for the job have made their interest public, although the Biden administration has not given any serious indication of any leading candidate.
Trump left the position unfilled for two years until he named Elan Carr in early 2019 following multiple calls from Jewish groups and Congress members.