Doug Wardlow: Keith Ellison’s Deeply Troubling Anti-Semitic Associations and Opposition to Israel

Keith Ellison’s Deeply Troubling Anti-Semitic Associations and Opposition to Israel

By Doug Wardlow

America is exceptional and unique among the nations because, as Abraham Lincoln declared at Gettysburg in 1863, it was “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The concept of equality before the law, together with the truth that the Divine Creator endows every human being with equal dignity and inalienable rights, are enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and anchor all American law and jurisprudence.

Our founders did not, of course, invent these principles.  They are distinctively Judeo-Christian, originating from the first of the five books of Moses, where it is written that “God created man in His own image.” (Genesis 1:27)

We inherited the principles that form the basis for American exceptionalism from the people of Israel.

And that is one, significant reason why, almost universally, the radical leftists who want to tear down and reshape America want to tear down the State of Israel as well. That group of extremists includes Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Recently, as the Hamas terror group was launching hundreds of rockets per day at Israeli population centers, forcing Israel to exercise its right to defend itself, Keith Ellison’s extreme-left ally, Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted: “Our delay in supporting a ceasefire has caused the slaughter of children and destruction of lives. Now Biden has to push for an end to the occupation.” Ellison re-tweeted Omar’s tweet, signaling his agreement.

Omar’s Ellison-endorsed tweet incorrectly (and absurdly) lays blame for Palestinian casualties at the feet of Israel and America. In fact, the Hamas terror group began firing enormous numbers of rockets into Israel without provocation, and Israel took reasonable action to defend itself and its people.  As always, Israel did so in a manner calculated to minimize civilian casualties and protect human life—even to the point of giving advance notice of where and when strikes on military targets in Gaza would occur to allow for evacuation.  Hamas, by contrast, values its anti-Israel propaganda war more than the lives of Palestinians, intentionally locating its operations to maximize civilian casualties and even refusing to evacuate buildings when notified of an impending strike in order to increase the number of Palestinian deaths.

Shifting blame to aid the propaganda efforts of anti-Semitic terrorists who despise human life is morally repugnant. So too is characterizing Israelis as “occupiers” and calling for an “end to the occupation.” To do so is to deny Israel’s legitimacy and back America’s enemies, including Iran—a country continually looking to push Israel into the sea and open up a clear path to the Mediterranean.

By endorsing-via-retweet Omar’s pro-Hamas lies, Ellison has essentially declared his opposition to the nation and people that gave birth to the very idea of the equal dignity of all men and women, siding instead with terrorists who employ human shields and rain rockets down on civilians, openly seeking to kill as many innocent Jews as possible.

Such a position is beneath contempt and should repulse every American.

While appalling, Ellison’s opposition to Israel—and his apparent agreement with Omar that a terror group that openly advocates genocide is morally equivalent to the peaceful, free, and democratic state of Israel—is not surprising.

Ellison, Minnesota’s top legal and law-enforcement official, is a national leader of the radical left. By failing to take any meaningful action to restore law and order as unrest has repeatedly broken out in Minnesota’s cities, turning a blind eye to skyrocketing violent crime in our most vulnerable communities, and constantly pushing the false narrative about systemic racism in American law enforcement, Ellison has demonstrated a shocking disrespect for the rule of law and the ideal of equality before the law. It is not surprising that such an extremist would likewise oppose the American ally who gifted those principles to the world.

Moreover, Keith Ellison worked for Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam in the mid-1990s. In February 2000, Ellison spoke favorably of Farrakhan during a speech at a fundraising event. The event was held in support of Kathleen Soliah (a.k.a. Sara Jane Olson), a convicted domestic terrorist who planted pipe bombs under cop cars in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s.

In 2018, Ellison said that he thought Farrakhan had “something to offer” in the “early 1990s” because Farrakhan “was a person speaking to issues of African American civil rights.” In 1984, Farrakhan praised Hitler as a “very great man.”

While Ellison claims to have distanced himself from Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, there is evidence to the contrary. Indeed, Farrakhan has spoken about a 2015 visit by then-Congressman Ellison to Farrakhan’s hotel suite in Washington D.C.

Ellison’s association with a disgraceful anti-Semite like Louis Farrakhan alone should disqualify him from serving in any public office.  His endorsement-via-Twitter of Omar’s pro-Hamas views—even as incidents of anti-Semitic violence perpetrated by pro-Palestinian criminals increase across our country—conclusively demonstrates that Ellison is unfit to serve as Minnesota’s top legal and law-enforcement official.

I am running for Minnesota Attorney General to restore law and order and make the State of Minnesota safe again.  But this race is about so much more than even that. It is about our founding principles. It is about American exceptionalism. It is about whether Minnesotans and Americans will rally to the cause of liberty and the rule of law or cede control of our great country to those who seek to destabilize its foundations and transform it into something sinister and unrecognizable.

If we are to restore law and order and renew the promise of freedom for future generations of Americans, we must stand up for our founding principles. We must stand with all those around the world who fight for the cause of freedom and the rule of law. And we must stand with Israel—the nation that gave us the principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, and the nation whose very existence proclaims the triumph of the great truth that all men and women are inherently valuable and equal before God.

Doug Wardlow is a Constitutional lawyer and former Minnesota State Representative.  He is running for Minnesota Attorney General.

Staff Writer