Tags: keith ellison | jewish | muslim | israel

Ellison's Bid to Head Democratic National Committee Splits US Jews

Ellison's Bid to Head Democratic National Committee Splits US Jews

Rep. Keith Ellison (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 November 2016 01:44 PM

The candidacy of Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison to take over as chairman of the Democratic National Committee has divided the American Jewish community, with many particularly citing his views on Israel as a cause for concern, Haaretz reported.

Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause, visited Gaza three times, and urged an end to the blockade of the Strip, which Israel says is necessary for its security as long as Hamas vows war against it.

While Israel was under constant rocket attack from Hamas-controlled Gaza in the 2014 war, Ellison was one of the few congressmen to vote against $225 million in supplementary military aid for the staunch U.S. ally to replenish the interceptors in its Iron Dome missile defense system that protected Israeli civilians from indiscriminate attack. The vote passed 395-8.

The Daily Caller also reported that in 2009 Ellison campaigned for Virginia activist Esam Omeish, who openly called for the Palestinians to embrace "the jihad way" in its struggle against Israel and praised Hamas.

But Jewish senators are also among those supporting Ellison's bid to head the DNC, including Bernie Sanders of the Democrat's progressive wing and incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, who represents the party establishment.

Schumer, who staunchly defends Israel and even defied President Barack Obama to vote against the Iran nuclear deal, said he was not concerned about his disagreements with Ellison over Israel, according to The Washington Post.

What was more important, Schumer said, was Ellison's ability to press the DNC to shift its focus from raising money from wealthy donors to building grass-roots enthusiasm for Democrats among working-class and middle-class Americans, many of whom supported Trump.

Many of Ellison's constituents in the Minneapolis Jewish community also vouched for his character, including Rabbi Michael Latz, who told Haaretz that the five-term congressman had attended his Shabbat services, calling him "an exquisite mensch, brilliant, a terrific community organizer who represents his constituency with great integrity.”

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The candidacy of Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison to take over as chairman of the Democratic National Committee has divided the American Jewish community, with many particularly citing his views on Israel as a cause for concern, Haaretz reported.
keith ellison, jewish, muslim, israel
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2016-44-22
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 01:44 PM
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