August 7, 2020 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) is urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to consider withdrawing the nomination of Col. Douglas Macgregor as the next U.S. ambassador to Germany.
“It is because of our intensive engagement with Germany that we were so troubled by the reports of recent days regarding Col. Macgregor’s many incendiary comments over the years about the German government, Germany’s confrontation with its Nazi past, the NATO alliance, immigration policy, and other topics,” AJC CEO David Harris wrote in a letter to Secretary Pompeo, who addressed the AJC Virtual Global Forum in June.
Those comments, if Macgregor is confirmed, “would establish as America’s representative, in what many regard as the most important capital in Europe, a relentless critic, presumably handicapped from the start as an effective envoy.”
Harris added that AJC is “similarly disturbed by Col. Macgregor’s remarks on ‘neocons’ and their supposed ‘unconditional support for whatever the Israeli government wants to do’,” as well as his shocking assertion that Germany’s decades-long efforts to grapple with its Nazi past reflects “a sick mentality.”
AJC has been uniquely involved with Germany since the end of World War II and the Holocaust. For more than 70 years, AJC’s pioneering efforts have strengthened understanding and cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States. In 1998, AJC opened a permanent office in Berlin, the first by a Jewish advocacy organization. Throughout, AJC has worked closely with American ambassadors and other U.S. diplomats based in Germany.
“If it is the President’s wish to affect German policy – on defense spending, energy sources, trade imbalances, or other matters – we would urge the nomination, instead, of a skilled diplomat who will serve our nation with the distinction and honor of his or her predecessors in that critical post,” wrote Harris.