After being held up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for eight months, the nomination of Deborah Lipstadt to be the State Department’s envoy to combat and monitor antisemitism is heading to the Senate for a vote. The committee vote was 13-9 with two Republican Senators, Mitt Romney of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida, voting in favor.

Lipstadt’s credentials are stellar. She is best known for winning a libel case in the United Kingdom filed by Holocaust denier David Irving. She is a professor at Emory University, teaching and writing books for four decades. In addition, last year, she served as an expert witness in the Charlottesville civil suit against the organizers of the Unite the Right that turned deadly. But Lipstadt’s nomination languished after Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, objected to her nomination. According to Religion News, he was offended, he said, by a tweet she wrote in which she said his comments about the Jan. 6 insurrection amounted to “white supremacy/nationalism.”

The special envoy’s office, established in 2004 and located at the State Department, is intended to advance U.S. foreign policy on antisemitism.

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