WASHINGTON (JTA) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to take action on naming an anti-Semitism monitor.
“You have my word, we’ll move on that,” Pompeo said Thursday during his appearance testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
Pompeo had been pressed on the issue by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who helped author the 2004 law creating the position. The monitor tracks and reports on anti-Semitism worldwide, and makes representations to foreign governments about U.S. concerns regarding anti-Semitism in their lands.
The position has not been filled since January 2017, when Donald Trump became president, and the office shut down in July of that year. Since then, Jewish groups and lawmakers have been pressuring the Trump administration to fill the post.
Pompeo’s ascension last month to the secretary of state position has spurred hopes that he will act where his predecessor, Rex Tillerson, did not.
On Thursday, 120 members of the House Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism wrote to Pompeo urging him to fill the job.
“This appointment would demonstrate the commitment of the United States to Jewish communities around the world and to the fight against the persistent evil of anti-Semitism,” said the letter, which included Republican and Democratic signatories and virtually every Jewish member of the House.
The Anti-Defamation League and Human Rights First, a watchdog, separately this week urged Pompeo to name an anti-Semitism monitor.
The Foreign Affairs Committee last week approved a bill that would enhance the role of the anti-Semitism monitor and require the president to name someone to the role within 90 days of its passage.