Here's why Republicans are stalling the confirmation of a renowned Holocaust scholar: analysis

On Wednesday, writing for The Daily Beast, Eleanor Clift analyzed the reasons why Republicans are blocking the confirmation of renowned Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt to a key State Department position.

"Lipstadt is one of hundreds of Biden appointees to Senate-confirmed positions languishing in a GOP-imposed limbo — the worst partisan blockade ever, according to the non-partisan Partnership for Public Service," wrote Clift. "Republican foot-dragging on Lipstadt is thought to stem from a tweet she sent in March of 2021 countering GOP Senator Ron Johnson’s assertion that if the Jan. 6 rioters had been Antifa or Black Lives Matter backers instead of Trump supporters 'who love this country, that truly respect law enforcement,' he would have felt more threatened. Lipstadt tweeted, 'This is white supremacy/nationalism. Pure and simple.'"

Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) did not cite this as a direct reason for the delay — but told the Jerusalem Post, "we do go back and look at everything that’s been said and done by the nominee to make sure we’re doing the right thing. It’s still a work in progress."

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In recent months, Republicans have used holds on nominees as a platform to voice grievances. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) blocked a number of State Department employees to protest the Afghanistan withdrawal — something he had supported when former President Donald Trump called for it. And Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) blocked several U.S. attorneys from being confirmed until Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) apologized for interrupting his speech nine months prior.

But the blockade of Lipstadt, argued Clift, is particularly egregious.

"Lipstadt, 74, is a recognized authority on antisemitism, its history, rhetoric, language and symbols," wrote Clift. "Her 1993 book, 'Denying the Holocaust,' prompted a lawsuit from author and Holocaust denier David Irving under British libel laws that Lipstadt won after a lengthy trial in London. The 2016 movie, 'Denial,' starring Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt, recreates the event. Since 1993, Lipstadt has been the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. 'I’ve known her for years, decades,' says Pamela Nadell at American University. 'There is no scholar in the United States who knows more about contemporary anti-Semitism than she does. Her nomination should have gone through six months ago. When she was announced, my immediate reaction was slam dunk! I was just stunned she didn’t sail through.'"

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