News that President Trump plans to eliminate the office of the special envoy to counter anti-Semitism as part of his planned budget cuts was met with some serious pushback from Jewish leaders — and from the last person to hold the position.
“I can’t believe someone at the White House won’t have better sense… This is a disaster,” Ira Forman, the former special envoy told Jewish Insider. “I just can’t believe that they would even think of this given the relatively small budget needed to run this office.”
Forman noted that the office of the special envoy to monitor and counter anti-Semitism exists by congressional legislation.
“This is as bipartisan as an issue as you can get, and I just hope folks at the White House come to their sense,” Forman said.
The Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt took a harsher tone, stating on Twitter: “Budgets reflect values. Amid rising #antisemitism, what value is reflected by eliminating Special Envoy for A/S?”
Greenblatt’s predecessor Abraham Foxman was quoted in Jewish Insider as calling the move “a sad message to send.” Foxman added that “the special ambassador to combat anti-Semitism at the State Department is one of those things that ‘make America great.’”
And New York Democrat Jerry Nadler took a sarcastic approach to the news of Trump’s plan to eliminate the office, tweeting: “Trump reportedly considering nixing anti-Semitism envoy as part of budget plan. Well, he’s sure consistent.”
Nathan Guttman staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Contact Nathan at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @nathanguttman