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US antisemitism envoy Lipstadt heading to Saudi Arabia

Deborah Lipstadt, nominated to be the US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, with the rank of ambassador, speaks during her Senate Foreign Relations nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Deborah Lipstadt, nominated to be the US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, with the rank of ambassador, speaks during her Senate Foreign Relations nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Deborah Lipstadt’s first overseas tour as the State Department’s antisemitism monitor will start in Saudi Arabia, a signal of the kingdom’s efforts to change its image in the West and among Jews.

Lipstadt says she proposed the visit to the Saudis, who were immediately receptive. She says she hopes to meet with political, religious and civil society leaders.

“To talk with them about normalizing the situation of, the vision of the Jews, normalizing the understanding of Jewish history for their population, particularly the younger — not only, but particularly with a younger population — is really important,” Lipstadt said at a briefing at the State Department which was under embargo until today. “It makes a statement about the change.”

Lipstadt is also slated to visit Israel and the United Arab Emirates. She says that her next trip later in the year will be to Argentina and Chile.

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