At CNN’s Wednesday evening Democratic Leadership Debate, Minnesota Representative and DNC Chair hopeful Keith Ellison was asked to account for allegations of past anti-Semitism.
The Sunni Muslim Democratic congressman has long been dogged about his association with groups like the Nation of Islam and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He has also come under fire for statements and writings regarding the State of Israel and American support for the Jewish state, going so far as to publish a paper as a law student titled “Zionism: Imperialism, White Supremacy or Both?”
“Congressman Ellison, on Tuesday, you criticized President Trump on Twitter for not speaking out sooner on anti-Semitism. You have critics in your own party who say that is the right message but you may not be the right messenger because you’re dogged by your own questions about potential anti-Semitism,” debate moderator Chris Cuomo pressed.
Ellison denied the validity of the issue. “Well, these are false allegations,” he said, going on to cite examples of supporter in the Jewish community. “These are smears and we’re fighting back every day.”
Ellison was quick to turn the attention back to current events. “Right now you have Jewish cemeteries defaced and desecrated. Right now you have Jewish institutions getting bomb threats. We have to stand with the Jewish community right here, right now, four square. And that’s what the Democratic party is all about,” he said.