On Wednesday night, Deborah Lipstadt U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee for the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism was officially confirmed to the position by the U.S. Senate.
After a long wait, her nomination was brought to the floor of the Senate by Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), who asked for unanimous consent on her nomination. Ossoff said, “Right now, as we speak, the scourge of anti-Semitism is rising again in this country and around the world. If we mean the words never again, then at long last, Madam President, let’s confirm Deborah Lipstadt to fight anti-Semitism on behalf of the United States.”
Lipstadt’s nomination was dragged along for six long months amidst rising antisemitism rates in the country, due to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where opposition from Republicans delayed her hearing. She was finally approved by the committee on Tuesday in a 13-9 vote, with Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) joining the Democrats to vote in favor of her nomination.
After her final confirmation on Wednesday night, numerous Jewish groups in the country lauded the decision on Thursday. William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said in a news release, “Having been involved with the creation of the post, working with the late Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and the late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), I can attest that her expertise is needed now more than ever—with anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred at seemingly all-time highs. We are still haunted as a community because of the attack on the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, at the beginning of the year. And this week in Israel, terrorists claiming allegiance to the Islamic State have killed 11 innocent people in three different cities. We offer our full support at this critical time on behalf of American Jewry and look forward to working with Ambassador Lipstadt in the ongoing fight against anti-Semitism.”
As it stands, Lipstadt will be the first woman to hold the position since its creation in 2004.