US President Donald Trump is appointing Elan Carr, a prosecutor from Los Angeles, to be the US State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.
The office “advocates U.S. policy on anti-Semitism both in the United States and internationally, develops and implements policies and projects to support efforts to combat anti-Semitism.”
The announcement comes after protests from lawmakers and leading Jewish groups that the post had been left empty during the first two years of Trump’s administration. President George W. Bush established the watchdog post in 2004 after bipartisan lawmakers decided it was necessary to confront the growing threats to Jewish people and their institutions in the US.
Last month, the US House of Representatives approved a bill elevating the position from Envoy to Ambassador as incidents of antisemitism are increasing worldwide. According to a report put out by the Israeli government’s Diaspora Department last week, 2018 was a record year for the number of victims of antisemitic attacks, especially in the United States and Europe. Antisemitic incidents originating from right-wing extremists are now the most dangerous threat facing Jewish communities. More, even, than Islamic terror, according to the report.
Carr is a US Army veteran who served in Iraq and a former president of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, the world's largest Jewish college fraternity, operating chapters on more than 190 campuses in seven countries.
“We eagerly look forward to working with Carr, as his office combats rising antisemitism, generated from the far right, the far left, and Islamist extremists, and abetted by the ubiquitous nature of social media,” David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, said in a statement.
Ambassador Carr will be heading this week to Slovakia for a symposium on antisemitism planned by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Further meetings are scheduled with the European Union Conference on Antisemitism in Brussels, and then it's back to the US for meetings with former Republican and Democratic administration officials.
PHOTO: Elan Carr during a tour of duty in Iraq in 2004. (SoCalOperator / Creative Commons)