Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
ZOA strongly opposes the confirmation of hostile-to-Jews-or-the-Jewish-State Elizabeth Frawley Bagley as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil. Ms. Bagley voiced 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 Antisemitic 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 U.S. Senate Committee for not approving her nomination. Yet under Senate rules, Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, with the support of 50 members of the Senate and the vice president, can still call for a vote of the entire U.S. Senate.
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.
Yet the ZOA is disappointed that Cardin and Menendez still voted for Bagley in the Committee vote, which ended in an 11-11 tie.
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.)
The ZOA urges Sen. Schumer to not call for a vote of the full Senate and if there is a vote, we call for the full Senate to reject her nomination. We thank the Simon Wiesenthal Center for also opposing her nomination. Even one Democratic vote in the Senate against her for her overt Jew hatred and Israelophobia would stop her from being confirmed.