State Dept Staffers Call Out 'Antisemitic' Blogger, Demand Ouster
By Fran Beyer | Tuesday, 31 August 2021 02:05 PM
More than 70 State Department officials wrote Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding the removal of "an openly [anti-Semitic] department employee" whose hate-filled website was exposed more than six months ago yet "continues to have a home in our midst," Foreign Policy reported Tuesday.
Citing a copy of the July 28 letter it obtained, FP reported the diplomats raged that Fritz Berggren maintains a website, bloodandfaith.com, where he writes online posts and publishes video and audio files assailing Jews, the LGBTQ community, and calling for the creation of Christian nation-states.
The existence of Berggren’s website was first reported by Politico in February.
"Fritz Berggren’s continued employment is an affront to all of us and the values we share. While there may be HR processes underway, they do not appear to be having an impact and are apparently proceeding very slowly as Berggren has been posting this content since at least 2017," the letter signed by more than 70 employees states, FP reported.
"Not only is his propagation of antisemitic ideas highly disturbing and offensive to Jewish and non-Jewish employees alike, but as Jewish employees, we feel his presence at the Department is threatening."
The intensified push to oust Berggren follows the discovery of a swastika carved into an elevator at the State Department’s main headquarters in Washington in July.
"While there is no evidence that Berggren is behind the swastika carved into the Department elevator, his continued employment with seemingly no consequences sends a message of impunity that has undoubtedly contributed to the atmosphere in which someone would dare to do such a thing," the letter stated.
The letter stated Berggren is posted in Washington, but FP reported it could not verify that.
In an audio and separate video post dated June 26, FP reported that Berggren spoke about the Politico article.
"In my opinion, what I do at bloodandfaith.com has absolutely nothing to do with my employer, and that’s why I never identified my employer," he said. "I don’t need, nor have I sought, nor have I been interested in my employer’s lofty status in order to justify what I’m doing or make it look better or make me look better. I don’t care about any of that stuff. What I write and what I say stands on its own."
According to FP, Blinken responded Aug. 9.
"I want to assure you that the Department treats reports of alleged misconduct with the utmost seriousness," Blinken wrote in a letter also obtained by FP. He said he could not comment on specific cases "for privacy reasons" but reiterated workers engaging in discriminatory behavior may face disciplinary charges "up to and including separation when warranted."
A State Department spokesperson told FP: "We will not comment on internal personnel matters beyond saying that these are personal views of an employee and do not represent those of the State Department. As a department, we embrace and champion diversity, equity, and inclusion as a source of strength."
Berggren also responded, emailing FP that "I am heartened to know that I have Jewish readers — I truly hope that they, like Saul, come to know Jesus Christ as literally the Son of God. Saul, renamed Paul, converted and began preaching the message: Jesus is the Son of God!"
"If even one Jew or Gentile is converted then it is well worth whatever inconveniences may ensue," he added, FP reported.