State Department staff call on Blinken to fire employee behind offensive blog

Letter by over 70 Jewish staff members of State Department decries colleague's blog that contains hateful statements about Jews.

Dan Verbin ,

US State Department
US State Department
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More than 70 State Department staffers expressed alarm at a colleague who reportedly ran an anti-Semitic blog, sending a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken about “an openly anti-Semitic department employee who continues to have a home in our midst.”

The group called for the employee to be fired, according to Foreign Policy.

The employeee, Fritz Berggren, is a US foreign service officer, whose private website “bloodandfaith.com” was condemned by the employees for allegedly publishing video and audio files against Jews – including calling Jews “vipers” – and called for the creation of exlusively Christian states.

The letter was organized by Jewish employees of the State Department and the US Agency for International Development.

The letter stated: “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.”

It continued: “Not only is his propagation of anti-Semitic 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 letter stated that Berggren’s continued presence with the department with “seemingly no consequences” has “undoubtedly contributed to the atmosphere in which someone would dare to do such a thing.”

“The Department should not wait for Berggren to target Jewish employees in the workplace, potentially with violence, before removing him,” they wrote.

They further called on Blinken to remove Berggren’s security clearance.

“The security clearance process is meant to assess an employee’s suitability for continued employment with the Department. There is no universe in which Berggren should qualify as suitable,” the letter stated.

Foreign Policy spoke to a senior State Department official who called the situation “really quite appalling and shocking.”

“They say there are First Amendment issues, but at some point, that can’t be the right answer,” said the official, referring to complaints from employees that Berggren did not face any professional consequences for his website.

Employees also alleged that he had violated the department’s employee policy by using his official title when signing some of his posts.

The letter concluded: “While we understand that you may not be able to share with us particular personnel actions that may have already been taken with regard to Berggren, we believe the only appropriate personnel action is his separation from the Department. No one who so openly and unabashedly promotes these ideas should have a home here, and we believe the Department’s own regulations give ample opportunity to make a case that would result in Berggren’s separation.”



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