February 7, 2022
The Hon. Robert Menendez
The Hon. James Risch
Chairman and Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
423 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6225
Re: Support for the Nomination of Professor Deborah Lipstadt as U.S. Special
Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism
Dear Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Risch:
We are writing as members of the Inter Jewish Muslim Alliance (IJMA), a bipartisan coalition of American Jewish and Muslim leaders, to express our full and enthusiastic support for the nomination of Professor Deborah Lipstadt to be U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, with the rank of Ambassador. We call on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, followed by the full Senate, to confirm Professor Lipstadt to this critical post.
At a time of growth in antisemitism abroad, this position, which was created by an act of Congress, is vital and urgent. President Biden nominated her in July 2021.
IJMA was founded in January 2019 by individuals and communal organizations of the Jewish and Muslim communities to pursue projects that serve the interests of the entire nation. We promote understanding, civility and comity between our two communities as a model of American pluralism. One of our priority projects is addressing bigotry in each community directed towards the other community, through outreach and educational efforts. We address the most difficult issues in the Muslim-Jewish relationship. For instance, during the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas in May of last year, IJMA members unanimously agreed to a public statement against antisemitism and expressing sympathy for the victims of the conflict, the only Muslim-Jewish statement of its kind.
Professor Lipstadt is one of our nation’s foremost experts on modern antisemitism. In both her scholarship on the history of antisemitism and on the multifarious forms that it takes today, and in her advocacy on responses to current manifestations of what is often described as “the world’s oldest hatred,” Professor Lipstadt has acted without fear or favor in calling out Jew hatred, from whatever place on the political spectrum and under whichever guise it may appear.
Importantly, Professor Lipstadt well understands, and has acted upon, the need to build relationships with and act in coalition with other faith communities in the battle against antisemitism and against all other forms of hatred and bigotry.
At a time when it is crucial that US demonstrate leadership in response to the growing presence of antisemitism internationally, we urge the Senate to move with urgency to confirm Professor Lipstadt as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, a role for which she is especially suited.
The Inter Jewish Muslim Alliance (IJMA)
Mohamed Abubakr, President of the African Middle Eastern Leadership Project
Atiya Aftab, Co-founder of the Sisterhood of Salaam-Shalom
Majid Alsayegh, Chairman of the Dialogue Institute
Adnan Ansari, Executive Director of Muflehun
Imam Abdullah Antepli, Duke University professor and co-director of Muslim Leadership
Initiative of the Shalom Hartman Institute
David Bernstein, Founder, Jewish Institute for Liberal Values
Marshall Breger, Professor of Law at Catholic University
Rabia Chaudry, attorney and author
Richard S. Cohen, President of The Walden Group and Marcia’s Light Foundation
Richard Foltin, religious freedom policy expert and advocate
Maital Friedman, co-director of Muslim Leadership Initiative of the Shalom Hartman Institute
S.A. Ibrahim, former CEO of Radian Group Inc. and interfaith leader
Rizwan Jaka, Chair of Interfaith & Government Relations, All Dulles Area Muslim Society
Suhail Khan, Vice President of IJMA
Moses Libitzky, businessman and community leader in the San Francisco Bay Area
Rabbi Jack Moline
Melanie Nezer, Senior Vice President of HIAS
Sheryl Olitzky, Co-founder of the Sisterhood of Salaam-Shalom
Daphne Price, Co-founder of IJMA
Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Max Sevillia, Vice President for Government Relations, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
Imam Talib Shareef, Masjid Muhammad, the Nation’s Mosque, and
Vice Commander of the Muslim Americans Veterans Association
Robert Silverman, President of IJMA
Halie Soifer, CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America
Rabbi David Wolpe, Max Webb Senior Rabbi, Temple Sinai, Los Angeles