It comes after months of delays and Republican opposition.
The Senate unanimously confirmed Deborah Lipstad on Wednesday night, after months of calls from the Jewish community to move forward with her delayed nomination, to nominate and fight Zidane as Biden’s special envoy.
Biden announced his intention to nominate Lipstad in July 2021. But Lipstad’s confirmation came after months of delays and Republican opposition, like the experience of many of Biden’s other nominees who need Senate confirmation.
But various Jewish groups, including the Orthodox Union and the American Jewish Committee, supported his nomination. High-profile instances of anti-Semitism at home also lead to renewed calls to convince him, although the role of ambassador is largely focused on anti-Semitism abroad.
The incidents took place in Colville, Texas in January, where a British citizen, a rabbi, and members of the congregation Beth Israel were held hostage until law enforcement officers attacked the synagogue.
Lipstad is a high-profile historian of Jewish history and the Holocaust who teaches at Emery University in Atlanta. He gained notoriety by winning a lawsuit against British author David Irving, who sued him and a publisher for defamation when he accused him of denying the Holocaust.
Sen. John Osaf, D-Ga, who introduced the Jewish, Senate vote, called for his own family history with anti-Semitism.
“My grandparents, Israel and Annie, came to this country in 1911 and 1913 to escape the Jewish hatred of Eastern Europe,” Osaf said.
“Their story is similar to that of many Jewish immigrants and refugees who came to the United States because the First Amendment to the US Constitution guaranteed the free practice of religion.”
Ossoff draws attention to the state of America “a place where you are protected from persecution. No matter how you worship.”
The head of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, told ABC News that the delay seemed “beyond anyone’s comprehension.” Jacobs on Wednesday morning Tweet“It took a long time but we are excited that the person most qualified for the job will eventually be able to engage in the fight against anti-Semitism.”
Lipstad himself wrote about the Texas Synagogue hostage situation in the New York Times without mentioning his suspended nomination.
“It’s not radical to say that going to the service, talking to God or to the neighbors you see once a week, shouldn’t be an act of courage. And yet this weekend we were reminded again that it can be done right.” Said.
Osaf did not mention Colliville, but said in his remarks that “at the moment when we speak, the panic of anti-Semitism is rising again in this country and around the world. The United States can fight anti-Semitism. “
Anti-Semitism has been rampant in the United States for the past two years. The Anti-Defamation League tracked more than 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents in 2020, as well as an increase in Semitic incidents during and after the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in May 2021.
During his Senate hearing, Lipstad had to respond to certain allegations from Senate Republicans who had problems with previous criticism of former President Donald Trump and current Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Weiss. But no one on the Senate floor on Wednesday night voted against his confirmation.
Lipstad’s new role as ambassador to the State Department “promotes US foreign policy on anti-Semitism … [and] Develops and implements policies and projects to support efforts to combat anti-Semitism, “according to the department’s website.