Senate Foreign Relations Committee Held Hearing Today for Highly Qualified Nominee to Lead U.S. Foreign Policy on Combating Antisemitism

Rosen-Backed Bipartisan Legislation to Elevate the Special Envoy to Rank of Ambassador was Signed Into Law in January 2021

Watch/Download Video of Senator Rosen’s Remarks HERE

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), co-chair of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, introduced Dr. Deborah Lipstadt during her Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing to serve as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. Lipstadt was nominated by President Biden in July, and Senator Rosen has been a vocal supporter for a swift confirmation process to fill this critical role. Last Congress, Senator Rosen helped introduce bipartisan legislation, which was signed into law in January 2021, to elevate the Special Envoy to the rank of Ambassador at the State Department. This is the first time in history this position will hold the rank of Ambassador.

As the third-ever Jewish woman elected to the United States Senate and former synagogue president, Senator Rosen has been an outspoken advocate for combating antisemitism in the United States and around the world. She co-founded the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism in 2019 with Senator James Lanford (R-OK). Last year, she led 22 of her Senate colleagues in a letter to President Biden urging him to expeditiously nominate a qualified Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. 

Below is a transcript of Senator Rosen’s remarks as delivered:

Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Risch, I really want to thank you both for holding this important hearing on the nomination of Deborah Lipstadt to serve our nation as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, which, last year, was elevated by Congress to the rank of Ambassador.

Dr. Lipstadt has devoted her life to fighting back against antisemitism and Holocaust denial. 

She is a renowned scholar of Holocaust studies at Emory University, who has published multiple books on antisemitism and Holocaust denialism, and who famously defeated a libel suit brought against her by Holocaust denier David Irving.

She is, arguably, the nation’s foremost expert on antisemitism and Holocaust denial, with over four decades of groundbreaking scholarship.

And her nomination comes at a critical time in the fight against antisemitism. 

In the United States and across the globe, we are witnessing a significant rise in antisemitism, violent extremism, and Holocaust distortion and denial.

From swastikas spray-painted in public to synagogues being attacked, we’ve recently seen heinous acts of harassment and violence targeting Jewish communities.

We’re also seeing an alarming rise in Holocaust distortion and denial worldwide.

More and more people are vocally questioning, trivializing, or outright denying the atrocities of the Holocaust, eroding the truth of one of the worst chapters of human history, and dishonoring the memory of the six million Jews who were murdered. 

As co-founder of the Senate’s Bipartisan Taskforce for Combatting Antisemitism, my mission has been to confront this head-on. 

Alongside my colleague Senator James Lankford, we’ve brought senators from both sides of the aisle together to address this growing crisis.

With dedicated leadership in place at the State Department, we can put a stop to these disturbing trends.

I am honored to introduce to you today an exceptionally qualified nominee to serve as Special Envoy and take on global antisemitism head-on, no matter where it rears its ugly head. And while Senator Lankford couldn't be with us in person today, he submitted a statement for the record in strong support of Dr. Lipstaft's swift confirmation, because we both recognize the urgent need for American leadership in combating global antisemitism.

Dr. Deborah Lipstadt has an extensive record of combating and calling out antisemitism, no matter which side of the political spectrum it comes from. 

And with this tough, but fair approach, she will serve a vital role in our nation’s critical work to protect Jewish communities, and combat antisemitism across the globe.

We can’t waste any more time. I urge my colleagues to advance her nomination so she can lead the State Department's efforts to improve the safety and security of at-risk Jewish communities, promote accurate Holocaust education, and ensure foreign leaders condemn antisemitic discourse.

Thank you. 

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