State Department Still Has No Anti-Semitism Monitor
(JTA) — The position of anti-Semitism monitor has not been filled by President Trump more than a year after it was vacated.
In addition, the State Department’s office to monitor and combat anti-Semitism has been unstaffed since July 1.
A State Department official in January told JTA that the Trump administration considers the position of anti-Semitism monitor “crucial” and hopes to name one “soon.” The official did not provide a timeline on when the special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism would be appointed. But the tone was a pronounced change from the summer, when then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the position was not necessary and the issue was best handled by other departments in the agency.
In a letter to Trump dated Monday, the Anti-Defamation League called on the president to “make this critical appointment without delay.”
“Anti-Semitism is escalating at an alarming pace around the globe,” said the letter, highlighting the murder of a Holocaust survivor in Paris and anti-Semitism in the Labour Party in Britain that led to a protest march by Jews there. The ADL also referred to the firebombing of two synagogues in Sweden in the last year and the increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric in Poland.
The White House and the State Department did not respond on Tuesday to a JTA query on the anti-Semitism monitor.
Congress mandated the position of special envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism in 2004 with the passage of the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act. The measure directs the State Department to establish the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, to be headed by the special envoy.
Ira Forman, the former executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, most recently served in the envoy position under President Barack Obama. A political appointee, Forman resigned when Obama left office.