Antisemitism czar Lipstadt joins outcry against reported bid to oust Yad Vashem head

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

The Biden administration is doubling down on its opposition to alleged government efforts to oust Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan, saying the museum must maintain its independence after a report that he is facing being sacked for political reasons.

“My research and advocacy about the Holocaust dates back to the 1980s; I have long valued the work of institutions like Yad Vashem. Yad Vashem’s painstaking and invaluable research on the Shoah is in no small part due to its professionalism and independence,” tweets US antisemitism envoy Deborah Lipstadt.

Hours earlier, US Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Ellen German tweeted, “The U.S. values the crucial work of Yad Vashem and its director’s leadership as we work together on Holocaust education, remembrance, and research. Maintaining the independence of such institutions around the world is key as we face efforts to distort/deny the facts of the Holocaust.”

The posts represent somewhat rare examples of US officials weighing in on an internal Israeli matter, indicating the extent of alarm in Washington over what it sees as an attempt to weaken the independence of Yad Vashem, given the US’s long reliance on the institution as an ally in the fight against antisemitism.

The rhetoric used by the two Biden officials appeared to even mirror messaging it has used to chide the record of countries like Hungary and Poland that have been accused of presenting an altered version of their respective roles in the Holocaust.

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