Still No U.S. Anti-Semitism Envoy

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JERUSALEM, Israel - In the six months since President Barack Obama assumed office, he has not appointed an envoy to monitor anti-Semitism worldwide.

In January, Dr. Gregg Rickman left the post to allow Obama to appoint someone from his own party.

Some say Obama's failure to appoint an envoy may reflect the administration's view on the importance of addressing anti-Semitic issues.

"Foot-dragging on the selection sends a message that anti-Semitism is not of great importance to the United States," said Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Medoff's paper, "The Politics of the American Response to Global Anti-Semitism," will be published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

"At a time when anti-Semitism remains a stable of government propaganda in the Middle East, when violent anti-Semitic incidents are reported almost daily throughout Europe, and when even the streets of Washington are not untouched by anti-Semitism's violent potential, that is the wrong message to send," Medoff said.

"On the one hand, it is understandable that at a time of multiple domestic and foreign crises, the Obama administration does not see this position as a top-tier concern," Medoff said.

"Yet it is nevertheless surprising how far down anti-Semitism appears to have slid on the new administration's list of priorities, particularly when it was the Democrats themselves who fought so hard to create the position over the vehement opposition of the Bush administration," he said.

A State Department official said on Thursday that there is an ongoing process with all appointments, which begins with the president nominating a candidate and the Senate confirming the appointment.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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