Monday, March 20, 2017

Europe: Ira Forman worried about antisemitism in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Russia

Via Pajamas Media:
Removing a special envoy position for combating anti-Semitism would send a bad signal to the rest of the world concerning American attitudes on the issue, the former envoy in the Obama administration said Wednesday. 
Ira Forman served as the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in the State Department from 2013 to 2017. According to Bloomberg, the Trump administration in its budget proposal is considering discontinuing Forman’s and other special envoy offices in an attempt to balance out a $54 billion increase in defense spending. This prompted a bipartisan group of 167 House members to send a letter to the Trump administration Monday asking that he fill the “crucial” office that “enables the U.S. to show the world its commitment to these ideals” of human rights “particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is dangerously on the rise.” 
Forman said he believes the special envoy office will be filled, though he didn’t base that assumption on any inside information or contact with the White House. The position is congressionally mandated, so it would require legislation to remove the office. 
Forman said that in maintaining itself as a world superpower, the U.S. not only has to sustain its economic and military position in the world, but it also must maintain core values. Combating anti-Semitism is part of that, said Forman, who spoke at Georgetown University's Center for Jewish Civilization. (...)
Forman is most concerned about Jewish communities in France, which has the largest Jewish population outside the U.S. or Israel with nearly 500,000, and Turkey, where he believes anti-Semitism is used frequently as a political tool. Belgium, the Netherlands and Russia also made his list.
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