U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in speech in March that ‘anti-Zionism’, translated as opposition to Israel’s existence as a homeland for the Jewish people, is a form of anti-Semitism toward Jews, and it is now a growing concern. He vowed that Washington would “fight it relentlessly”.
Carr, who was appointed in February by Pompeo as the special envoy for monitoring and combatting anti-Semitism, said this shift in policy can lead to changes in relationships the U.S. has with foreign governments or the countries’ leaders. “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,” Carr told Reuters during a visit to Israel. “I will be raising that issue in bilateral meetings that I am undertaking all over the world,” said the 50-year-old Republican Jew who formerly served as a deputy district attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. “That is something we are going to have frank and candid conversations about–behind closed doors.”
Thus far, Carr has declined to point fingers at specific countries or leaders, and has not elaborated on what actions the Trump administration might take as chastisement. “I obviously can’t comment on diplomatic tools that we might bring to bear,” said Carr. “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 said the administration’s equating of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism “certainly breaks new ground … by making clear that something that a lot of us who are involved in the Jewish world and a lot of us who are proponents of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship have known for quite some time, 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”.
Some U.S. political analysts are calling the pro-Israel rhetoric that President Donald Trump and other Republicans have displayed as a strategy to secure Jewish voters, including those who thus far seem unmoved in response to pro-Palestinian voices within leftist circles of the Democratic Party.
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