The Biden administration’s nominee for antisemitism envoy, Deborah Lipstadt, slammed Israel’s characterization as an apartheid state, saying it was a danger to Jews everywhere and part of a campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state.
“Branding Israel an apartheid state is more than historically inaccurate. I believe it’s part of a larger effort to delegitimize the Jewish state,” The Algemeiner cited Lipstadt as saying at her confirmation hearing,
“Such language, I see it spilling over onto campuses where it poisons the atmosphere, particularly for Jewish students,” she said.
Lipstadt, a noted Holocaust scholar, added, “Increasingly, Jews have been singled out for slander, violence and terrorism. Today’s rise in antisemitism is staggering.”
Her remarks come after the UK-based Amnesty International released an outlandish report accusing Israel is of apartheid against the Palestinians.
However, Lipstadt herself is no stranger to controversy. Her appointment as antisemitism envoy, a post that President Trump reintroduced, has been denounced by Republicans.
Only China Joe could do something this repugnant and disgusting. https://t.co/5j0SMwt7V7
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 31, 2021
As Breitbart has noted, Lipstadt is best known for winning a lawsuit against Holocaust denier David Irving, who had sued her for defamation. In 2011, she also decried what she called “Holocaust abuse” by U.S. and Israeli politicians who compared opponents to Nazis. She called such analogies a form of “soft-core” Holocaust denial, since they cheapened the reality of Nazi mass murder. She also claimed, without evidence, that Holocaust denial “is being spread by those in President Trump’s innermost circle.”
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin recalled that Lipstadt had accused him of “white supremacy” in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Hill riots.
“Why did you go on social media and level these vile and horrible charges against people, including me that you don’t even know?” Johnson asked her. “You have never talked to me, you have never met me. You don’t know what is in my heart. Do you feel bad about that at all?”
Producer Gary Foster and Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt speak at “Books to Screen” during the 28th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 4, 2017 in Palm Springs, California. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival )
Lipstadt apologized to Johnson and emphasized that she was an “equal opportunity foe” of antisemitism. “While I may disagree with what you said specifically, and I think that’s a legitimate difference, I certainly did not mean it, and I’m sorry if it was taken, and I’m sorry if I made it, in a way that it could be assumed to be political,” she said. In response, Johnson said that while he appreciated Lipstadt’s apology, she would not be receiving his confirmation vote.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also accused Lipstadt of partisanship, saying that her affiliation with Democrats would not allow her “to develop and implement the department’s policies to address the ancient and evil poison of antisemitism around the world.”
A date for Lipstadt’s confirmation vote has not been set, the Algemeiner reported.