Keith Ellison: The latest step in the Democrats’ abandonment of Israel and its Jewish supporters

Keith Ellison: The latest step in the Democrats’ abandonment of Israel and its Jewish supporters

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison is a leading contender to become the new DNC chair and, thus, face of the Democratic Party. He’s garnered endorsements from party leaders such as New York Senator Chuck Schumer , Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren , and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders , as well as Barack Obama.

A supporter of Louis Farrakhan with a track record of being both anti-Israel and anti-Semitism, Ellison’s elevation to this post would be another signal of the Democrats becoming the anti-Israel party.

As Caroline Glick recently wrote:

Ellison’s association with the Nation of Islam dated back at least since 1989 and stretched at least until 1998. During that period, he not only knew about the Nation of Islam’s Jew hatred, he engaged in it himself.

During Ellison’s run for Congress in 2006, the The Washington Post reported he had defended Farrakhan against accusations of anti-Semitism in 1989 and in 1990, as well as embracing affirmative action.

Also during Ellison’s initial congressional campaign, Scott Johnson of Power Line exposed Ellison’s anti-Semitism and work with Farrakhan in a piece for the Weekly Standard . One incident he described occurred in February 1997 when Ellison was a practicing attorney:

Ellison appeared as a local spokesman for the Nation of Islam with the last name “Muhammad.” He spoke at a public hearing in connection with a controversy involving Joanne Jackson of the Minnesota Initiative Against Racism (MIAR). Jackson was alleged to have said, “Jews are among the most racist white people I know.” Jackson denied making the statement or insisted that it had been taken out of context. Ellison appeared before the MIAR on behalf of the Nation of Islam in defense of Jackson’s alleged statement. According to the Star Tribune and the full text of the statement published in the Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder, Ellison said:

Speaking for the Nation of Islam, Ellison appeared before the MIAR in defense of the truth of Jackson’s alleged statement. According to the Star Tribune and the full text of the statement published in the Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder, Ellison said, ‘We stand by the truth contained in the remarks attributed to [Ms. Jackson], and by her right to express her views without sanction.’ He finished his comments with, “Also, it is absolutely true that merchants in Black areas generally treat Black customers badly.”

The last sentence alluded to another of Jackson’s alleged statements, providing a personal basis for characterizing Jews as “the most racist white people” she knew. Ellison’s May 28 letter acknowledges only that others supported Jackson’s alleged statement in that controversy while falsely denying that he himself did so.

Since entering Congress — the legislative body’s lone Muslim — Ellison has used every opportunity possible slam Israel.

For example, in 2010, Ellison convinced 53 other Democratic members of congress to sign the infamous “Gaza 54” letter to Barack Obama, which falsely accused Israel of humiliating and wreaking “collective punishment” on Gaza residents and demanded that Obama pressure Israel to lift the Gaza blockade.

In 2014, he was one of only eight members of Congress to vote against a bipartisan bill to provide $225 million to Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system.

Ellison is a featured keynote speaker at many events sponsored by the anti-Israel organization Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). These include the American Friends Service Committee, which runs a BDS boot camp, Progressives for Palestine, and is a favorite of the anti-Israel group ironically called Jewish Voice for Peace. The Jewish Voice for Peace was named by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the ten most anti-Israel organizations in America.

There are many more examples of Ellison’s, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic actions, such as his connection to Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas-linked groups, among them CAIR.

Interestingly, while the Anti-Defamation League has made very public claims of anti-Semitism against Trump adviser Steven Bannon based on one unsubstantiated charge by his ex-wife, the ADL has been silent about the possible election of Ellison as DNC chair despite his anti-Jewish track record. Their treatment of Bannon vs. Ellison reinforces the group’s image as caring more about protecting progressive politics than protecting the Jewish people.

Ellison was on the 2016 Democratic Party platform committee and tried to insert language criticizing Israel for its “occupation” of Palestinian lands. Ellison’s attempt was defeated by Clinton supporters, possibly because they feared the language would cause Jewish donors and voters to recognize the former secretary of state’s history of opposing Israel.

After his defeat in the platform committee, Ellison went on complain in an interview with NPR’s Amy Goodman During the interview, a video of which follows (transcript below). he mourned his loss the occupation plank and threw in some lies about the Jewish State and Gaza for good measure:

Keith Ellison: Well, I can — I can lay out in sum, summary. One is that we — that there were six members of the Democratic drafting committee from the Hillary Clinton campaign, five from Bernie Sanders, four from the DNC. We took the base document, and we made several amendments at the drafting committee. We heard testimony over the course of two days. A lot of it was really, really startling and important.

I think we have the best statement on Native American rights we’ve ever had. We have strong language that does critique the TPP, although it falls a little short of openly opposing it, which we tried to do but were not able to achieve. It takes a position in favor of $15 and a union for a federal minimum wage. It takes a position on a whole range of things, including the environment, that are progressive steps forward.

What did we not achieve? A complete opposition to fracking, we don’t have that. What is else not achieved? There are some things on some foreign policy fronts that I think would and could be better, some saber-rattling with regard to Iran that I don’t think is helpful and good to be in our platform. I think that it would be — I think that we could have had a clearer statement on two-state solution and the U.S.’s aspiration to have peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. I think we were a little bit weak on that.

Amy Goodman: Can you explain what you would like to see there, Congressmember Ellison?

Ellison: Well, I think that it is important that, you know, the United States state that we don’t think that the occupation of the — what will be the Palestinian state should continue. I don’t think there’s any fear of using the O-word, if you will. I mean, Ariel Sharon used it. You know, the U.N. uses it. I mean, it’s a commonly used phrase to describe what’s going on. I think we could have also made some stronger statements about the—

Goodman: What is that word?

Ellison: Occupation.

Goodman: That they’re not using the word “occupation”?

Ellison: Right. I think that there is a humanitarian crisis going on in Gaza. In fact, you know, the—because of the electricity power plant has been destroyed, the sewage is not being processed, and raw sewage is going up into the Mediterranean. In fact, it’s so bad that it’s flowing up into north, and the Israeli desalinization plant is not able to use its—that plant, because of the sewage that is in the Mediterranean coming from Gaza, because Gaza cannot process their own sewage at this point, because of the horrible situation that is going on there. So, there are some more—so, things like that, I think, really could have been identified much more clearly.

What the Ellison forces did accomplish was to keep the pro-Israel planks removed in 2012 from being reinserted in 2012. Four pro-Israel planks were removed in 2012, but the Jerusalem-is-Israel’s-capital provision was left in the 2016 platform.

The pro-Israel planks eliminated in 2012, remaining out in 2016 include

  • The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements.
  • The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.
  • All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.

In 2011, Politico reported that the Center For American Progress (CAP), which was at the time run by Hillary Clinton’s future campaign manager John Podesta, was fighting with the more mainstream Democrats about Israel. They want to change the party to the anti-Israel party.

When one considers the “walk-backs” to the 2012 platform, which were maintained in 2016, and the support for anti-Semite Keith Ellison for the chairman of the Democratic Party, one senses that the Center For American Progress is getting its way. The only remaining question is whether American Jewry, which overwhelmingly (and sometimes blindly) votes Democrat, will finally wake up and smell the truth.

Cross-posted at The Lid

Jeff Dunetz

Jeff Dunetz

Jeff Dunetz is editor and publisher of the The Lid, and a weekly political columnist for the Jewish Star and TruthRevolt. He has also contributed to Breitbart.com, HotAir, and PJ Media’s Tattler.


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