US anti-Semitism envoy: We may reconsider ties with countries deemed anti-Israel
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US anti-Semitism envoy: We may reconsider ties with countries deemed anti-Israel

Elan Carr announces ‘groundbreaking’ move to equate anti-Zionism with Jew-hatred, but will not clarify which nations could fall into that category

Demonstrators burn an Israeli flag during a protest outside Israel's embassy in Caracas, Thursday, January 8, 2009. Protesters condemning Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip sprayed graffiti and hurled shoes at the country's embassy in Venezuela on Thursday, backing President Hugo Chavez's decision to expel the Israeli ambassador. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Demonstrators burn an Israeli flag during a protest outside Israel's embassy in Caracas, Thursday, January 8, 2009. Protesters condemning Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip sprayed graffiti and hurled shoes at the country's embassy in Venezuela on Thursday, backing President Hugo Chavez's decision to expel the Israeli ambassador. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

The US may reconsider its relationships with countries it deems to be anti-Israel, the Trump administration’s envoy for anti-Semitism said in an interview published Sunday.

“The United States is willing to review its relationship with any country, and certainly anti-Semitism on the part of a country with whom we have relations is a deep concern,” Elan Carr told the Reuters news agency.

“I will be raising that issue in bilateral meetings that I am undertaking all over the world,” he added. “That is something we are going to have frank and candid conversations about — behind closed doors.”

When questioned, Carr refused to clarify which countries could fall into that category.

US Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism Elan Carr speaks to the Conference of Presidents in Jerusalem, February 21, 2019. (Matty Stern|/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem)

“I obviously can’t comment on diplomatic tools that we might bring to bear,” he said. “Each country is a different diplomatic challenge, a different situation, number one. And number two, if I started disclosing what we might do it would be less effective.”

Carr told the outlet that the Trump administration’s decision to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism “certainly breaks new ground,” and that anti-Semitism is often hidden under the guise of anti-Zionism.

The move would clarify “something that a lot of us who are involved in the Jewish world and a lot of us who are proponents of a strong US-Israel relationship have known for quite some time,” Carr said. “And that is that one of the chief flavors of anti-Semitism in the world today is the flavor that conceals itself under anti-Zionism.”

Carr’s appointment came more than two years after US President Donald Trump took office and as many key diplomatic positions remain vacant.

Israeli researchers reported Wednesday that violent attacks against Jews spiked significantly last year, with the largest reported number of Jews killed in anti-Semitic acts in decades, leading to an “increasing sense of emergency” among Jewish communities worldwide.

The report also found that anti-Semitism was being promoted actively by government officials in countries on three continents, singling out officials in Venezuela, Turkey, Poland and Ukraine as promoters of hatred of Jews.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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