The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) today called on Minnesota Republican candidate for Congress Alan Fine, the Minnesota Republican Party and other Republican organizations to end their unbalanced and irrational attacks on Minnesota Democratic candidate for Congress Keith Ellison. A recent attack statement issued by Fine was filled with intolerance and xenophobic rhetoric and labeled as "stunning" by a Minnesota Star Tribune columnist. The same columnist also wrote, "I've received hate mail from lonely bigots with a gentler tone than (Fine's) statement" (9/13/06).
"Republicans can't beat Keith Ellison on the merits of their policy positions. So instead, they appear to be using his religion as a weapon to question his patriotism. These kind of scare tactics are disgraceful and have no place in mainstream politics.
"These guys attack Keith Ellison for receiving a contribution from Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), yet they said nothing when Congressman Gary Miller (R-CA), one of their own, took a $1000 check from CAIR Political Action Committee. They attack Keith for being an acquaintance of Awad's, yet they said nothing when President Bush invited Awad and other Muslim leaders to a press event immediately after the September 11 attacks and referred to members of the group as 'good folks standing with me.' Republicans are taking intolerance and hypocrisy to a whole new level, even for them."
"Jews are taught in our laws and traditions that a person is forbidden to be cruel and not forgive. Like many of us, Keith Ellison is not perfect, But he is a good man. Keith has recognized his past mistakes and renounced his brief association with the Nation of Islam and has condemned the anti-Semitic statements and beliefs of Louis Farrakhan and Khalid Muhammed.
"Keith has demonstrated his support for Israel and issues of importance to the Jewish community. His explanation of his past has been accepted by Minnesota's organized Jewish community, and it is only the GOP attack machine who seems intent on not moving on.
"Republican Jews who attack Keith Ellison do not represent the mainstream of the American Jewish community, and they owe all of us an apology for invoking their Judaism in this shameful partisan hack job."
Below is a document prepared by NJDC highlighting some of Keith Ellison's positions on issues of importance to Jewish voters.
Keith Ellison on Issues of Importance to the Jewish Community
Keith Ellison has received the endorsement of the American Jewish World, Minneapolis' largest Jewish newspaper, as well as the endorsements of countless Jewish activists and Jewish elected officials from around the country.
In it's endorsement of Ellison, the AJW wrote:
"... Ellison acted as the lawyer for the House DFL caucus in an ethics proceeding against former representative Arlon Lindner, who contended that gays were not victims of Nazi oppression in the Holocaust. Ellison understands the importance of guarding against Holocaust denial and revisionism, and links the lessons of the Shoah to more recent cases of genocide in Rwanda and Darfur. Further, he supports the State of Israel and the continuation of U.S. aid to Israel. He holds to the mainstream position of a negotiated two-state solution regarding the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
"We all know that nobody is perfect and no political candidate is without shortcomings. We are now in Elul, the last month of the Hebrew year and the month preceding Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur... During this period of heightened spirituality, we find ourselves considering the choices before us as citizens of a free nation. We cannot take our civil liberties for granted, especially in the face of well-reported government actions to curb our constitutional rights and consolidate political power. In the trying times ahead, we will need courageous political leadership and we must hold our elected representatives accountable.
"We think that Keith Ellison has the attributes to be a dynamic and effective representative in Congress. In Ellison, we have a moderate Muslim who extends his hand in friendship to the Jewish community and supports the security of the State of Israel. He is a person with a vision of a more humane and equitable society and he is the candidate we favor in the Fifth District DFL election." (September 1, 2006)
Ellison on Hamas and Terrorism: "... Hamas represents the greatest obstacle to [peace between Israel and in the Middle East], and... [U]ntil Hamas denounces terrorism, recognizes the absolute right of Israel to exist peacefully and honors past agreements, it cannot be considered legitimate partners in this process... Terrorism is the greatest impediment to peace. At this point the Palestinian Authority (PA) has yet to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank. The United States cannot support any government that condones or embraces terrorism." (http://www.keithellison.org/...)
Ellison on Iran: "The other serious threat to the security of the region is Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. This must be stopped. A nuclear-armed Iran would upset the strategic balance in the region and pose a clear threat to world peace. Iran's sponsorship of international terrorism as well as financial aid to terrorist organizations endangers peace around the globe." (http://www.keithellison.org/...)
Ellison on Peace in the Middle East: "The United States should encourage dialogue with peaceful Palestinian leaders that recognize Israel, condemn terrorism, and honor past accords... Only with a democratic Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel can the safety of the entire region be assured." (http://www.keithellison.org/...)
Ellison on the Nation of Islam and anti-Semitism: "I reject and condemn the anti-Semitic statements and actions of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, and Khalid Muhammed." (Letter to Minnesota and the Dakotas JCRC Executive Director Steven Silberfarb, May 28, 2006)
BLOGGED AT http://njdc.typepad.com/...