ADL: Newly uncovered remarks by Keith Ellison are 'disturbing and disqualifying'

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says it has new doubts about Keith Ellison as the next chairman of the Democratic National Party. In a press release published Thursday the ADL cited new information in the form of a 2010 speech in which Ellison said United States foreign policy was based on what was good or bad for Israel:

New information recently has come to light that raises serious concerns about whether Rep. Ellison faithfully could represent the Democratic Party’s traditional support for a strong and secure Israel. In a speech recorded in 2010 to a group of supporters, Rep. Ellison is heard suggesting that American foreign policy in the Middle East is driven by Israel, saying: “The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes.”

Rep. Ellison’s remarks are both deeply disturbing and disqualifying.  His words imply that U.S. foreign policy is based on religiously or national origin-based special interests rather than simply on America’s best interests. Additionally, whether intentional or not, 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. These comments sharply contrast with the Democratic National Committee platform position, which states: “A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism.”

Previously, the ADL had defended Ellison as a “man of good character” though the group’s CEO also said it had some concerns about some of his positions.

Ellison’s newly uncovered remarks were published Tuesday by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. IPT’s Steven Emerson wrote, “In a fairly intimate setting, Ellison lashed out at what he sees as Israel’s disproportionate influence in American foreign policy. That will change, he promised, as more Muslims gained political influence.”

Also today, CNN has a review of Ellison’s past statements in defense of Louis Farrakhan and other far left groups:

When the then-executive director of The Minneapolis Initiative Against Racism, Joanne Jackson, came under fire in 1997 for allegedly saying during a forum that Jews are the most racist white people she knows and that she did not think Farrakhan was a racist, Ellison, who identified by his religious name of Keith Ellison-Muhammad, defended her, saying, “She is correct about Minister Farrakhan. He is not a racist. He is also not an anti-Semite.” (Ellison would later address this incident in 2006, writing in a letter to a local Jewish group, “While some at that meeting justified her comments, I spoke out in favor of increased dialogue between the Jewish and African-American communities. I believe that Ms. Jackson’s alleged remarks were clearly bigoted, discriminatory story, inappropriate, and even ridiculous.”)…

As recent as 2000, Ellison publicly defended violent, fringe elements of the far-left. He appeared at a fundraiser that year for domestic terrorist Sara Jane Olson, a member of the self-styled revolutionary group the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), which is best known for kidnapping heiress Patricia Hearst. Olson was apprehended in 1999 in relation to the 1975 attempted bombings of two police cars and the slaying of Myrna Opsah during a bank robbery…

Ellison also spoke favorably of convicted cop killer Assata Shakur and expressed his opposition to any attempt to extradite her to the United States from Cuba, where she had fled after escaping prison.

Ellison is considered the leading contender to replace interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile.