February 5, 2019 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) hailed today’s announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Elan Carr has been appointed Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.
“The Special Envoy position is critical to U.S. leadership in confronting the scourge of anti-Semitism worldwide,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “We are grateful to Secretary Pompeo for fulfilling his commitment to fill the position, which he made to us in a meeting last year. We eagerly look forward to working with Carr, as his office combats rising anti-Semitism, generated from the far right, the far left, and Islamist extremists, and abetted by the ubiquitous nature of social media.”
Carr, a Los Angeles district attorney and Iraq war veteran, comes from a family of Iraqi Jews. He grew up with stories from his mother about the rabid anti-Semitism that led to the arrest of her father and family’s decision to flee their ancestral homeland at the time of Israel’s independence.
AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, has campaigned for the appointment of a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism since the position was vacated in January 2017.
Last year, AJC mobilized more than 1,100 faith leaders from across the U.S. to sign a letter to the Administration calling for the position to be filled. AJC also strongly supported a May 2018 congressional letter calling for the appointment of an envoy, as well as recent bipartisan legislation elevating the position to the rank of Ambassador.
“We thank our faith partners and elected officials from both parties who joined AJC in urging the appointment of a Special Envoy,” said Harris. “As an organization with more than a century of experience in grappling with anti-Semitism globally, we have worked closely with the Special Envoy’s office in the past.”
The Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, created by Congress in 2004, has kept the U.S. at the forefront of international efforts to raise consciousness about the rising menace of anti-Semitism, and press governments and multilateral institutions to take action to safeguard vulnerable Jewish communities.