First Muslim-American elected to congress, Keith Ellison, faces opposition from ADL for past anti-semitic views.

First Muslim to be elected to Congress Keith Ellison is facing a possible opposition to his becoming the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman. The opposition that he’s facing is coming mainly from America’s Jewish Community, something that can be disastrous for the Democratic Party, who the Jews have supported in large numbers in the recent elections.

At the root of the opposition is the allegation that Ellison holds anti-Semitic beliefs. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) brought to public notice certain comments about Israel that Ellison had made in 2010 through an audiotape of his speech at a fundraising event, where he was heard saying that the foreign policies of the U.S. in the Middle East is controlled by a small country of seven million people. It didn’t take people much time to realize that the allusion was to Israel.

Naturally, for the Jews, this claim by Ellison was an indication that he too subscribed to the same idea. As such, American Jews now are expressing their concerns as to what the future will hold for them if a person who believes that Israel is a controlling force on America becomes the president of a party that they have always supported.

Ellison’s situation has worsened with the surfacing of his past support of the Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan. This, together with a history of conflicting stances against Israel, have put him in a suspicious light in the eyes of America’s Jews, although backed by Jewish Democratic leaders such as Senator Chuck Schumer.

In his defense, Ellison insisted that he had already distanced himself from the Nation of Islam long ago when he realized that their views were very bigoted and fanatic. As for his comments on Israel controlling U.S. policies in the Middle East, Ellison argued in a statement that he issued in response to the ADL’s allegations that he was simply talking about America’s relationship with Israel. He accused the right-wing of trying to twist his words in order to drive a wedge between the Jews and the Democrats.

Ellison published a letter in his defense in the Washington Post, in which he affirms that he never held any kind of anti-Semitic or racist ideologies. As for his support of the Nation of Islam, Ellison says that although in the beginning he wasn’t able to understand their bigoted philosophy, he stopped his support when their reality became clear to him. 

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