Washington, D.C. — Last night, U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff took to the Senate floor and secured the confirmation of Dr. Deborah Lipstadt to serve as United States Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism.
In a powerful floor speech, Sen. Ossoff called on his colleagues to finally confirm Dr. Lipstadt to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism at home and around the world.
“And 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,’ than at long last, Madam President, let’s confirm Deborah Lipstadt to fight anti-Semitism on behalf of the United States,” Sen. Ossoff said in his speech.
Dr. Lipstadt is currently the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. She is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top experts on Holocaust denial and modern anti-Semitism.
The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism advances U.S. foreign policy on anti-Semitism and develops and implements policies and projects to support efforts to combat anti-Semitism.
Earlier this month, citing recent high-profile attacks against Jewish Americans, including at Congregation Beth Israel in Texas and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Sen. Ossoff pressed a senior FBI officialon the Bureau’s work to prevent, investigate, and prosecute anti-Semitic hate crimes.
Last fall, Sen. Ossoff denounced a string of anti-Semitic attacks at schools in Cobb County.
Click here to watch Sen. Ossoff’s floor remarks.
Please find a transcript below:
SEN. OSSOFF: “Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, in just a moment, in just a moment, I’m going to ask that the senate do something that we should have done months ago. In just a moment, Madam President, I’m going to ask that this body confirm Deborah Lipstadt to serve as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism on behalf of the United States.
“Madam president, my great-grandparents Israel and Annie arrived in this country in 1911 and 1913 fleeing anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. Their story is like the story of so many Jewish immigrants and refugees who came to the United States because the free exercise of religion is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. And when I stood just there, Madam President, and was sworn into the U.S. Senate, I held in my breast pocket copies of the ship’s manifests logging their arrivals at Ellis Island.
“Madam President, we had a confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in the Judiciary Committee last week. And I had a discussion with Judge Jackson about what that means, the free exercise of religion. This country has drawn immigrants and refugees from around the world because it’s a place where you’re protected from persecution no matter how you worship. That’s what America stands for.
“It is time for the Senate, at long last, to confirm this nominee to fight anti-Semitism around the world, on behalf of the United States, standing up for those values. It was U.S. Forces who liberated Dachau and Buchenwald. And Annie and Israel, my great grandparents, they got out of Europe. Many of my family did not, Madam President, and they perished in the Holocaust. This isn’t ancient history. This is recent history.
“And 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,’ than at long last, Madam President, let’s confirm Deborah Lipstadt to fight anti-Semitism on behalf of the United States.
“Deborah Lipstadt comes from my home state of Georgia. She’s the professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory university. A leading scholar on anti-Semitism and the holocaust. It is time for the United States to stand up against anti-Semitism. It is time finally for the senate to confirm this nominee.
“So, Madam President, at this time, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate consider the following nomination: calendar number 845, Deborah E. Lipstadt, of Georgia, to be Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism with the rank of Ambassador. That the Senate vote on the nomination without intervening action or debate, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, that any statements related to the nomination be printed in the record, that the President be immediately notified of the Senate’s action.”
SEN. BALDWIN: “Is there objection? Without objection. The Clerk will report the nomination.”
SENATE CLERK: “Nomination, Department of State, Deborah E. Lipstadt, of Georgia, to be Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism with the rank of Ambassador.”
SEN. BALDWIN: “The question is on the nomination. All in favor say ‘aye.’”
SEN. OSSOFF: “Aye.”
SEN. BALDWIN: “All opposed, say no. The ayes appear to have it. The ayes do have it. The nomination is confirmed.”
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