NEW YORK (JTA) — Two former officials who served as the State Department’s special envoy to combat anti-Semitism called on President Donald Trump to fill the position and said they expected Congress to fund the envoy’s office in the coming budget.
The office of the envoy, whose job is to monitor and document anti-Semitism around the world, as well as work with foreign governments to fight it, has been vacant since Ira Forman left the job last year. Trump has not appointed a replacement, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson questioned the need for the post earlier this month.
On July 1, the envoy’s office will be left unstaffed, as its two remaining employees are set to be reassigned.
The two envoys who served under President Barack Obama said the position is necessary in order to coordinate and advance the monitoring work done in U.S. missions worldwide. They added that the envoy’s working definition of anti-Semitism helped U.S. personnel in foreign countries determine what is and is not anti-Semitism.
“If people aren’t being rounded up and sent to their death, many people in the State Department and Congress and many places feel there isn’t anti-Semitism,” said Hannah Rosenthal, the envoy during Obama’s first term.