NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress welcomed the appointment of Dr. Deborah Lipstadt as U.S. antisemitism envoy with the rank of ambassador, as the world’s oldest hatred continues to surge around the globe.
“President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken could not have found anyone better qualified than Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, a renowned historian of the Holocaust, to confront today’s challenges,” said World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder. “She brings a deep understanding of antisemitism as well as real-world experience to the position. Jewish communities worldwide will benefit from her appointment at this critical time. Her demonstrated courage in confronting antisemites and Holocaust deniers from across the political spectrum makes her the ideal person to represent the United States in confronting surging antisemitism around the globe.”
Amb. Lauder also said, “The WJC enthusiastically looks forward to continuing our close cooperation with the Office of the Special Envoy, which has been diligently operating under the leadership of U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kara McDonald and her staff.”
He added, “Dr. Lipstadt, a longtime friend of the World Jewish Congress, will be an outstanding partner for other government officials fighting antisemitism and the WJC will be pleased to welcome her at our next meeting of Special Envoys & Coordinators Combating Antisemitism.”
Lipstadt was a keynote speaker at the April 2015 WJC-International Committee of the Red Cross event in Geneva commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps.
A prolific author, Lipstadt is widely known for prevailing in a landmark libel case in Britain brought by Holocaust denier David Irving. She is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta.
Last year, the U.S. Congress elevated the envoy role to ambassador-level, granting the position more funding and easier access to the secretary of state and the president. Once confirmed, Lipstadt will be the fifth person in the position.
The envoy’s role is to track and report antisemitism globally and to advocate for governments to address it.
The WJC forum of Special Envoys & Coordinators Combating Antisemitism (SECCA) comprises officials tasked with combating antisemitism in their constituencies, with participants hailing from dozens of countries, as well as from international organizations such as the European Commission, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
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