White House anti-Semitism envoy Deborah Lipstadt hosts roundtable at Arab News
RIYADH: Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, expressed her joy at being in the Kingdom and said she deliberately chose Saudi Arabia as her first visit to abroad to help generate dialogue and normalize the coexistence of Muslims and Jews.
“I am overwhelmed by the changes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undertaking. You have a long way to go, but you are definitely working on that path,” she told Arab News.
Lipstadt was speaking on the sidelines of a roundtable held at Arab News headquarters in Riyadh, where the history of anti-Semitism and its work to confront it were discussed.
She focused on acknowledging her country’s past shortcomings and hoped the trip would help mend the hostile view of Jews in the region.
She believed that new generations were actively changing and changing perspective, which she admired.
The roundtable was moderated by Arab News Deputy Editor-in-Chief Noor Nugali, in the presence of Adel Al-Harbi, a prominent Saudi media adviser, Saudi columnist Noor Abdullah and Sarah Elzeini, communications consultant and founder of the SMZ International group.
Arab News journalists present included Nada Al-Turki and Arkan Al-Adnani, as well as members of the visiting delegation from the US Embassy in Riyadh.
Lipstadt also met with Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abbas and toured the newsroom, where she met journalists and editors and learned about the newspaper’s own efforts to combat hate speech and promote religious tolerance.
“I saw some of the work you did (on Arab News), the covers, the minority report: The Jews of Lebanon. You put the Hebrew greeting for the New Year ‘Shana Tova’ on your front page. It’s unimaginable,” she said. “My country is not perfect; your country is not perfect. We have a long way to go, but what I have seen here at Arab News is certainly a good start.
For his part, Abbas welcomed Lipstadt and the accompanying delegation and praised his remarkable career in the fight against anti-Semitism.
“We are thrilled to have a guest of Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt’s caliber and accomplishments visiting our headquarters in Riyadh, and we look forward to having more such interactions and offering any insight she and her team may need. for this noble cause, which is in line with the huge reforms we are witnessing in our country,” Abbas said.
Prior to Lipstadt’s visit to the Kingdom, she met with Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema Bint Bandar in Washington, where they discussed Saudi Arabia’s “significant progress in promoting peace, tolerance and interreligious dialogue”.
This is Lipstadt’s first international trip since taking office in April 2022. The 11-day trip will include dialogue with senior government and civil society leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Emirates. United Arabs.
His engagements during this tour aim to highlight the need for interfaith understanding and religious tolerance, as well as to combat mistrust and anti-Jewish sentiment.
Arab News will publish an in-depth interview with her tomorrow.