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Senate holds confirmation hearing for Biden’s anti-Semitism envoy

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., holds up papers as he questions Deborah E. Lipstadt, nominated to be Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, with the rank of Ambassador, about comments she made online, during her Senate Foreign Relations nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Also pictured is Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, left. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., holds up papers as he questions Deborah E. Lipstadt, nominated to be Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, with the rank of Ambassador, about comments she made online, during her Senate Foreign Relations nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Also pictured is Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, left. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., holds up papers as he questions Deborah E. Lipstadt, nominated to be Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, with the rank of Ambassador, about comments she made online, during her Senate Foreign Relations nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Also pictured is Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, left. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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UPDATED 8:14 AM PT – Thursday, February 10, 2022

GOP senators grilled Joe Biden’s pick to lead the State Department’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism.

On Tuesday, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism nominee Deborah Lipstadt testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. During her testimony, she called herself an equal opportunity foe of anti-Semitism and claimed that there’s an increase in hatred for Jews in the world.

“Jew-hatred can be found across the entire political spectrum,” she stated. “One finds it among Christians, Muslims, atheists and, sadly, even a handful of Jews. One finds it in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and even in countries with no Jews. I am an equal-opportunity foe of anti -Semitism. Unless one is willing to fight Jew-hatred wherever one finds it, one should not be a nominee for this position.”

During the hearing, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) confronted Lipstadt about her accusing him of being a white supremacist in a Twitter post made last March. The nominee apologized for her accusation after being called a malicious person by the senator.

“It was not nuance, I would not do diplomacy by tweet,” Lipstadt explained. “While I may disagree with your position, what you said specifically and I think that’s a legitimate difference, I certainly did not mean it. And I’m sorry if it was taken and I’m sorry if I made it in the way that it could be assumed to be a political at the person personally.”

Sen. Johnson condemned her further after accepting the apology.

“But I think somebody that has had a 30-year professional career ought to know better,” said the Republican lawmaker. “And when you’re being nominated and considered for confirmation to a position in diplomacy representing the United States, I can’t I certainly cannot support your nomination. I hope my other colleagues won’t either. You’re just simply not qualified for it, but I wish you the best in life and I do accept your apology.”

There’s still no word on if Lipstadt will be confirmed by the Senate.

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