The United States swore in Elan Carr as the new Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism on Thursday after the position had been left vacant since January 20, 2017.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo administered the oath of office. The secretary remarked that Carr, a Jewish-American Army veteran and the grandson of Holocaust survivors, was chosen for the “fierceness and vigor that he’ll bring to combating anti-Semitism.”
The envoy’s position was established by the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004. On his first day in the congressionally mandated post, Carr vowed to fight the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and described the organized boycott of Israel as anti-Semitic.
“An individual has a right to buy or not buy what they please. However, if there is an organized movement to economically strangle the state of Israel, that is anti-Semitic,” Carr said. “We are going to focus relentlessly on eradicating this false distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.”
In an address to American Jewish leaders gathered for a conference in Jerusalem in February, Carr said that he would work to end the “attempted distinction” between anti-Zionism and anti-Jewish hate.
The rise in anti-Semitism, the envoy explained, cannot be attributed to a single country or political movement. Rather, he said, anti-Semitism is a global scourge that requires a global response. “This will be a full-court press. We are not going to be ignoring any part of the world or any ideology,” he said.
In September, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2018,” which required the president to appoint an official to the role within 90 days of its passage and to put forward a nominee no more than 120 days after a vacancy.
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