Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
It is deeply concerning that President Biden nominated yet another person hostile-to-Jews or the Jewish state. Elizabeth Frawley Bagley was nominated to become U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, despite Ms. Bagley voicing ugly antisemitic tropes about Jews and money and influence, including: “There is always the influence of the Jewish lobby because there is major money involved“; and the “Jewish factor” is not about the raw number of electors who care about these issues ‘it’s money’.” Bagley also called promises to move the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s eternal capital Jerusalem “stupid” and the result of Jewish money. (See “‘The Jewish Factor, It’s Money’: Biden Ambassador Pick Under Fire for Anti-Semitic Tirade: Elizabeth Frawley Bagley decried ‘the influence of the Jewish lobby’ and its ‘major money’,” by Adam Kredo, Free Beacon, June 22, 2022.) (In fact, Congress virtually unanimously supported the embassy move because it was the right thing to do: Every U.S. embassy in the world is located in the host nation’s capital. See “ZOA President Morton Klein’s Congressional testimony on moving the embassy to Jerusalem.”)
To say the least, Bagley’s antisemitic tirade, language and attitude was horrifying for a diplomat representing the United States. ZOA applauds Senate for rejecting her nomination.
U.S. embassies are required to serve Americans visiting or living in the host country without discrimination. Ms. Frawley’s remarks raise serious, disqualifying concerns about how she will treat Jewish Americans visiting or living in Brazil. Moreover, Brazil has a significant Jewish community of over 120,000 people, well-integrated into all aspects of Brazilian society. It would be deeply insulting and distressing to this community to send a U.S. Ambassador to Brazil who has Bagley’s history of using ugly antisemitic tropes.
The ZOA thanks Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) for raising this issue during Elizabeth Frawley Bagley’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on May 18, 2022.
Senator Cardin aptly told Ms. Bagley: “The language you used in regard to the Jewish community, Israel’s influence on our election, and Jewish money have me concerned. The choice of words was fit into the traditional tropes of antisemitism.” Sen. Cardin also noted that as a career diplomat, Bagley should be trained to more carefully choose her words.
Senator Menendez properly asked: “Is it a suggestion that one group of Americans don’t have the right to engage in the political process as others do? Words, especially for those who are going to be ambassadors of the United States to other countries are incredibly important, probably more significant than maybe in our individual daily lives.”
Unfortunately, Ms. Bagley joins a long list of President Biden’s antisemitic and Israelophobic nominees and appointees. (See ZOA’s “Biden Appointments Watch” webpage here.)