January 19, 2020

Rep. Keith Ellison: A history of anti-Israel actions

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) not be appointed to head the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Ellison’s dangerous positions, involvements and anti-Israel congressional initiatives have included the following:

• This past summer, Ellison (aka Keith X. Ellison, aka Keith Hakim, aka Keith Ellison Muhammed) worked to insert anti-Israel positions and language into the 2016 Democratic national platform and to keep pro-Israel planks out. Ellison complained in a “DemocracyNow!” interview that the Israeli “occupation” was to blame for a “humanitarian crisis” and lack of sewage processing in Gaza, while ignoring that Israel withdrew from every inch of Gaza and that Hamas diverts the electricity needed to operate Gaza’s sewage treatment plant to energize its terror tunnels and operations.

• Also in 2016, Ellison tweeted a sign falsely accusing Israel of expropriation and “apartheid.” And in September, Ellison defended the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on the House floor. ISNA is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case, involved in funneling money to Hamas.

[Opposing view: Ellison is a humanitarian leader]

• In 2015, Ellison spearheaded and co-authored a letter (and obtained the signatures of 23 Democratic members of Congress) demanding that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress about the Iran deal be delayed until after the sanctions deadline — when the visit would have been useless.

• In 2014, Ellison was one of only eight members of Congress who voted against the bipartisan bill to provide $225 million to Israel’s Iron Dome missile system.

• In 2012, Ellison traveled from Minnesota to raise funds and speak at mosques in New Jersey, urging and helping Arab-American residents of the state to defeat pro-Israel, Democratic, Jewish Congressman Steve Rothman.

• In 2010, Ellison convinced 53 other Democratic members of Congress to sign his infamous “Gaza 54” letter to President 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, thereby enabling Hamas to obtain more weapons to kill and terrorize innocent Israeli civilians.

• In a 2010 “DemocracyNow!” interview, Ellison argued that the United States not kill a leading terrorist located in Yemen, who was responsible for numerous deaths of Americans and was continuing to foment some of the worst additional attacks, on the grounds that the terrorist would consider his own death to be a “reward.”

Ellison also received substantial campaign contributions from groups tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is the “parent” organization of Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist entities. Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait all have designated the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization.

Ellison also spoke at Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) dinners and defended CAIR on the House floor. Materials handed out at CAIR’s 2008 dinner (where Ellison spoke) referred to America as a terrorist organization and called for the destruction of Israel and the United States. CAIR also is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case, involved in funneling money to Hamas.

In addition, the House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into Ellison’s failure to disclose that the Muslim American Society — a group founded by Muslim Brotherhood members to be the “overt arm … in the U.S.” of that extremist organization — paid $13,350 for Ellison to go on hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 2008. 

• In 2007, Ellison analogized President George W. Bush’s prosecution of the war on terror after 9/11 to Hitler’s rise to power and activities after the Reichstag German parliament building fire.

• From approximately 1989 until at least 1998, Ellison was an active leader in Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic Nation of Islam. Ellison raised funds and led anti-police chants to support cop killers; co-sponsored a vicious anti-Semitic speech by Kwame Ture (formerly known as Stokely Carmichael) titled “Zionism: Imperialism, White Supremacy or Both?” and ignored Jewish law students’ pleas not to sponsor the program; and spoke at a public hearing on behalf of the Nation of Islam in support of a woman alleged to have said, “Jews are among the most racist white people I know.” In 1995, Ellison organized a rally featuring Khalid Abdul Muhammad saying, “If words were swords, the chests of Jews, gays and whites would be pierced.”

Keith Ellison’s record is one of overwhelming anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities. The ZOA urges you to join us in speaking out against appointing Ellison to the extraordinarily powerful position of DNC chair. 

MORTON A. KLEIN is the president of the Zionist Organization of America.