Keith Ellison isn’t an anti-Semite. He’s the victim of a vicious smear

Jesse Myerson writes: Which is the more bitter irony: That the Anti-Defamation League’s specialty should have become defamation, or that its latest target, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), should be among the country’s most important opponents of political anti-Semitism?

Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress and a prominent Bernie Sanders supporter, is now a leading candidate for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. However, since he is also a measured critic of U.S. support for Israel’s occupation of Palestine, he has fallen victim to the same accusations of anti-Semitism that the ADL has promiscuously dispensed in recent years.

It all happened so suddenly. Two weeks ago, the ADL’s national director Jonathan Greenblatt regarded Ellison as “a man of good character” in emailed remarks to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Now, per an official ADL release, Ellison’s views on the Israel-Palestine conflict are “both deeply disturbing and disqualifying.” What changed? Greenblatt claims the U-turn happened when he became aware of a 36-second clip of taped remarks Ellison made to supporters in 2010. “The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people,” said Ellison on that occasion. “A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense?”

Jews cannot abide positions like Ellison’s, according to Greenblatt’s statement: “His words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives, but that has no place in open societies like the U.S.” Per Greenblatt, Ellison’s remarks raise concerns over whether he could “represent the Democratic Party’s traditional support for a strong and secure Israel.”

But Ellison’s statement was a small clip intentionally taken out of context by Steven Emerson of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, a self-proclaimed expert who claims, among other odious lies, that the Obama administration is in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood. [Continue reading…]

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