State Department: ‘Crucial’ anti-Semitism monitor post to be filled ‘soon’


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Trump administration considers the position of anti-Semitism monitor “crucial” and hopes to name one “soon,” a State Department official told JTA.

On Thursday, the official did not provide a timeline on when the special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism would be appointed. But the tone was a pronounced change from the summer, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the position was not necessary and the issue was best handled by other departments in the agency.

That led a bipartisan slate of lawmakers to remind Tillerson that the position, in place since 2004, was congressionally mandated and that he was not in a position to do away with it. Jewish groups also have lobbied intensively to restore the position, which they say makes clear to other countries that the United States prioritizes the issue.

The position has been unfilled for a year and the office has been unstaffed since the summer.