U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has sworn in Elan Carr as the new United States Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. In that role, he will advise Secretary Pompeo on policies and programs concerning anti-Semitism and will represent the U.S. abroad on the issue.
Special Envoy Carr broadly defined anti-Semitism as “hostility toward or prejudice against Jews, either the Jewish people or the Jewish religion.” He said it manifests itself in many forms: “It can be denying or minimizing the Holocaust. It could be acts of violence against Jews. . . .It can be attacks on Jewish institutions. It can be demonization of the state of Israel or the denial of the Jewish people its right to self-determination in its ancient homeland.”
Special Envoy Carr noted that criticism of the policies of Israel, just like criticism of the policies of the United States, is “entirely acceptable.” However, the criticism has to be fair, he cautioned:
“For example, if Israel is criticized for exercising its inalienable right to defend itself from the onslaught coming from Gaza or from Hezbollah, then that’s a double standard and a double standard in not fair criticism of Israel. A double standard is defined as anti-Semitism.”
Today, anti-Semitism is also a component in terrorism and violent extremism, said Special Envoy Carr:
“We find actually that many terrorist organizations, those on the far left, those on the far right, those coming from radical Islam, adopt anti-Semitism as a core defining feature of those movements which is why it’s so important to fight anti-Semitism. Fighting anti-Semitism isn’t only about protecting Jewish people. . . .but fighting anti-Semitism is a way to make the world a better place.”
Indeed, anti-Semitism can be viewed as history’s “greatest barometer of human suffering,” noted Mr. Carr. “Every society that has embraced anti-Semitism has rotted to its core and produced human suffering at a level that defies description. We certainly saw that in Nazi Germany. . .but also throughout history,” observed Mr. Carr.
“So, fighting anti-Semitism,” stressed Special Envoy Carr, “is a moral obligation that we have not only for the Jewish people but for our countries, for our societies, for continents and for the kind of world we want our children to inherit.”