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.