Photo Credit: Keith Ellison's Facebook page
Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Min) with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt).

By Rafael Medoff

A growing number of pro-Israel activists and Jewish community figures are expressing concern that Minnesota’s U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison will turn the Democratic Party away from Israel if he is elected party chairman.

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The election of Ellison “would bode badly for Jews,” longtime Democratic consultant Dr. Hank Sheinkopf told JNS.org. “His positions on Israel fit the pattern, noted by recent research, of identified liberal anti-Israel bias and the movement of Democrats away from Israel.”

Defending Farrakhan

Ellison’s controversial statements and actions date back to the 1990s, when he served as a local spokesman in Minnesota for Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam movement. Ellison raised eyebrows when he publicly claimed in 1995 that Farrakhan “is not an anti-Semite.”

Since his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007, Ellison has emerged as one of the most vocal congressional supporters of the Palestinian cause. He has organized letters urging more U.S. pressure on Israel, voted against funding Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, and spoken at fundraising events for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a hardline anti-Israel group. While visiting Hebron this past summer, Ellison tweeted a photograph of a placard accusing Israel of “apartheid.”

Rabbi Menachem Genack of Englewood, New Jersey, a prominent Jewish supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, said he would be “disappointed” if Ellison is chosen as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) because that would “accelerate the process” of pulling the Democratic Party away from its traditional pro-Israel positions. Genack told JNS.org that he will be speaking to his colleagues in the party to explain his “concerns about Ellison’s views on Israel.”

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat who represents a heavily Jewish district in Brooklyn, strongly criticized the decision by New York’s U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer to endorse Ellison. In an interview with JNS.org, Hikind, asked, “Does Senator Schumer actually believe that there is literally not a single other person in the Democratic Party, anywhere in the country, who would be a better choice than Ellison? Why is Schumer in such a rush to support a candidate who is so unfriendly to Israel?”

Hikind said Ellison “is the most radical candidate imaginable, someone who represents the extreme left wing of the party, which is why he’s being promoted by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and J Street—in other words, Ellison is being backed by all the wrong people if you care about Israel.” The assemblyman noted that Ellison has occasionally claimed to be a friend of Israel, “but if Israel has to depend on support from the Ellisons of the world, it would be in serious trouble.”

Possible defections

Some pro-Israel activists recall, with dismay, Ellison’s efforts to unseat a pro-Israel New Jersey congressman, Steve Rothman, in 2012. Dr. Ben Chouake, president of NORPAC, a Jewish political action committee in northern New Jersey, said it was “extremely unusual” for Ellison to target Rothman, “since Rothman was a fellow Democrat, in a district halfway across the country—what could motivate him to go to such great lengths?” Ellison spoke at mosques in New Jersey, urging Arab-Americans to vote against Rothman.

Chouake told JNS.org he fears that if Ellison is elected chair of the DNC, “one of his priorities will be to pull the party away from Israel.” Ellison represents “the fringe of the Democratic Party, not the center, and would it make even harder for the party to have broad appeal.”

The rise of Ellison could drive Jews out of the Democratic Party, according to Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a private wealth manager who worked in the administrations of New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, and New York Governor George Pataki, a Republican. “There are many longtime Jewish Democrats who are on the fence about whether to stay in a party that has been tilting away from Israel—and if Ellison is elected, I believe a good percentage of them will leave the party,” Wiesenfeld told JNS.org.

Wiesenfeld criticized Schumer’s endorsement of Ellison as “a crass political calculation—he sees the party succumbing to the far left, and he wants to go with the flow so he can retain his position.” He said that “Schumer’s phone should be ringing off the hook with calls from members of the Jewish community, asking ‘What happened to your promise to be a ‘shomer’ (guardian) of Israel?”
Ellison’s office did not return a request for comment from JNS.org.

The only other declared candidate so far for the chairmanship of the DNC is former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. A date for the election has not yet been set. According to party rules, it must take place prior to March 31, 2017. To win, a candidate needs the votes of a majority of the 447 members of the DNC. About one-fourth of the members are the chairs or vice chairs, of state branches of the Democratic Party.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Iti Chito in ref to your post about Sharia Law in Mn, ALSO NOTE …. This is a BIG PROBLEMS here in Mn. congressional members Al Franken, US Rep Rick Nolan and team really need to get “their” minds UNBENT! …. Those same who are directly tied to the American Indian Movement thug teachings, beliefs and world views posed as “traditional people of 1st Nations Ancestry” https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20160608-pa-opens-office-for-native-american-tribe/

    for example google search: native americans & Palestine spiritual

  2. the history of this goes back quite a few years, starting with for example …. “1977 Washington Post; – with fat cigars fresh from a recent Cuba trip …. “I hope I get rich off the Arabs – because it sure as hell isn’t going to be the Jews.” ~James Abourezk~

    Abourezk is Leech Lake Tribal Court Judges Paul Day and BJ Jones (Jones along with Abourezk is an adviser for the Lakota Peoples Law Project POSERS) working buddy for their Barrel of Monkey B.S – who now has the newest hand and hand add-in judge Treuer.

    All working together for Obama’s Dept. of Justice reforms such as wellness court & policies for TRIBAL/COUNTY/STATE MUTUAL AGREEMENTS OF UNDERSTANDING to coincide with Obama’s HHS service reform polices such as foster care, as in the new ICWA regulation amendments and Alternative Medicine concepts such as Holistic Healing for mental health. ” …. https://jpwade.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/leech-lake-tribal-court-pukes/

  3. a bit on Bernie and his support of brotherhoods …. “More Peanuts – Bernie Another Mouthpiece for Abourezk

    KNEEL DOWN MAINSTREAM AMERICA – SAY HELLO TO PART OF BERNIE SANDERS WORKING TEAM AND THE CONTINUANCE OF BRINGING MURDER AND MAYHEM TO YOUR DOORSTEP!

    Obama’s Bridge to Islam -Another step in Islamization. The professor who says that Islamic law is better than Western codes is appointed to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

    “Ibrahim El-Hibri had made a fortune doing business with Saudi Arabia. His company dominates the manufacture of the anthrax vaccine.” ~Israel national News~

    Isn’t that Ibrahim, the same Islamic extremist clown [mentioned in the article Obama’s Bridge to Islam] that James Abourezk claimed as his friend in 1975, that helped to get abourezk’s 2 cousins Nadia & Laurisout Abpurizk, out of Beriut Lebanon?

    Yep, That is the same years the 1st U.S diplomat was sent to the Arab States for Israel & Palestine negotiations, none other than James Abourezk was that 1st and he did so in support of the Baath Party / PLO, who in the same years hired Russle Means of AIM as an adviser for his staff on Native American concerns. We can thank the Peanut Farmer for securing this stupidity!

    That would be James Abourezk who created the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in those same years, who is pushing today to create an avenue for more children to be harvested for ABUSE with guidelines for the new ICWA proposal that is paving the way for Tribes to point the finger at just about any child to claim them as NDN for federal funding.

    Keep in mind, that Syrian Peddlers Son James Abourezk, adopted son (so called lakota) Charlie Abourezk was at the home where Annie Mae Pictou Aquash was beaten, raped and interrogated not long after Leonard Peltier stuck a gun in her mouth calling her a fbi pig informant, executed the morning after the interrogation by Charlie Abourezk’s AIM buddies , that murder decided on that same night by the American Indian Movement leadership and those involved. https://jpwade.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/bernie-another-mouthpiece-for-abourezk/

  4. Liberal Jews of America are no different than the German Jews known as “Mishlingers” (Muts) Half breeds that’s what they were labeled by the Nazis. As they came from mixed marriages meaning they were not pure arian.

    These Traitors were the ones that were overzealous in there persecution of the Jews in order to show the Nazis what good Germans they were.

    These Jews identified themselves as Germans and did not want to be part of the Jewish race.
    Most joined the Nazis with many in the SS Who are directly responsible for the wholesale slaughter of their brothers and sisters. Many others were sent to weapons and ordinance manufacturing and development facilities.

    The same goes for the communist Jews of Russia Jews known as “Yevsektsiya” who turned in their brothers and sisters to the authorities sho sent them off to Siberian concentration camps also know as The Gulag where they suffered gruesome and horrible fates for the crime of practicing their religion. They did this to show the Russians what good communists they were.

    The American Liberals are of the same breed and alienate themselves from Judaism and align themselves with our enemies.

    A few such examples are Bernie Sanders , Mark Zuckerberg , Dustin Moskovitz and George Soros may God wipe their names from the face of the earth.

    https://www.facebook.com/RabbiYaronReuven/posts/10154173389803196

  5. I didn’t think that a Democrat could possibly support Israel. After all, they have helped Obummer try and destroy Israel with the Iran deal plus Obummer interfering in the Democratic process in Israel by trying to get the left into power.

    God bless President Donald Trump, his family, America, Israel, Bibi and the UK.

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