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NJDC Calls on Alan Fine and Republicans to Apologize for Hate-Filled Attacks on Keith Ellison

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).

The following statement was issued today by NJDC Executive Director Ira Forman in response to continued Republican attacks on Keith Ellison:

"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." (

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." (

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." (

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)


Originally posted to jefffromthenjdc on Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 03:03 PM PDT.


Ellison will win this race by...?

9%4 votes
34%15 votes
32%14 votes
23%10 votes

| 43 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great diary... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    metal prophet, bibble, serrano

    ...highly recommended.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 03:04:58 PM PDT

  •  Please shorten the title (10+ / 0-)

    It gets cut off in Recent Diaries as "Jewish Democrats: Hate-Filled Attacks on Keith Ellison (MN-5)..."

    I assumed there was a Jewish group attacking him -- and that's not a cool way to attract clicks.

    Democrats => Dems, Keith Ellison => Keith?

  •  Good to see this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Treg, dougymi, isis2, dpinzow

    I'm always happy to see Jewish Democrats standing up to fight against people who try to pass off a hatred of Muslims (or a desire to bring about Armageddon in the Middle East) as some kind of pro-Jewish position.  Thanks.  

    "Let me be clear: we cannot have this." -Elizabeth Edwards on Joe's indy run

    by Neil Sinhababu on Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 03:10:01 PM PDT

  •  I don't see many Ellison signs around here (0+ / 0-)

    When I went running in minneapolis and saint louis park last night I saw one Fine yard sign and no Ellison signs.  I think Ellison is oging to win by a bunch but it doesn't look like people have warmed up to him yet.

    •  Where I live (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman

      Right on the St Louis Park/Minneapolis border (SLP Ward-1) was definitely Junge/Erlandson territory.

      I thought Fine was going to do well here after Ellison won but his bigoted statements I think are turning people off from Fine. Every single house in my neighborhood that has a Fine sign had a BC04 sign back in 04. I think some people may cross over and vote for Tammy Lee (Independent) but Fine loses by a mile.

    •  in SLP, right? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman, savvyspy, parryander

      probably through the orthodox neighborhoods.  Oy.  saw some of their kids in clinic, they were very pro-Bush, and IMO, naive.  They should all read Max Blumenthal's writings on Christian Zionists.  mofos.

      Don't know why I feel I have to justify this every time, but yes, I'm Jewish.  Live in the 5th district, voted for Keith.  will do so again in Nnov.

      "And I know in the past I've called you a douche bag, but that's not an air of grandeur, that's just mean... and sophomoric." JS -7.63/-6.41

      by vome minnesota on Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 03:39:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For being local, this diary is global (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman

    These same "smear no more, hypocrites!" rebuttals are essential to our success in these next several weeks. Thanks for a great diary!

  •  1 thing missing (0+ / 0-)

    CAIR is an organization that is outside the mainstream and has supported the use of terror in the past.  I think Ellison, Miller and Bush are all wrong for granting CAIR any type of legitimacy.  If I were Ellison I would be very careful about accepting money from groups like care.  It is one thing to accept money from the ADC and collecting money from CAIR.

    •  Got examples? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rusty Pipes

      CAIR spokespeople have appeared on national TV.  TV networks are generally very careful not to give national platforms to people they consider "outside the mainstream".

    •  I recall... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rusty Pipes, callmecassandra

      ....reading their publication and I never saw any endorsement of terror therein. Now, they were occasionally tougher on Israel than I was comfortable with, but they did recognize Israel's right to exist and did support a two-state peace deal.

      •  Links (0+ / 0-)

        From Wikipedia:
        CAIR has received recognition and praise from high-ranking official of both the Democratic and Republican parties. On the other hand, the organization has also received great criticism, from a number of both governmental and non-governmental sources, for actions it has taken and people and organizations it has been involved with.

        The greatest source of criticism has involved CAIR's ties to terrorism and terrorist groups. As of 2006, at least four CAIR officials have been charged with terrorism-related offenses. CAIR has also been accused by the FBI of raising money for terrorist groups through fraudulent means. Officials of CAIR have been reported advocating for the establishment of an Islamic theocracy to replace the current United States government, and praising controversial groups such as Hamas.

        CAIR has also been accused of doctoring photographs and reporting fraudulent statistics about the Muslim population of the United States in support of its own private agenda. Finally, another source of criticism is that CAIR attempts to suppress criticism of Islamic terrorism and intolerance through accusations of racism and anti-Muslim bias.

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