Keith Ellison

December 8, 2016

Letters to the Editor
Commentary Magazine

To the Editor:

Jonathan Tobin’s characterization of the Anti-Defamation League’s position on U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison fitness to lead the Democratic National Committee is completely off the mark (“The Ellison Tipping Point,” Dec. 2).

We did not, as Mr. Tobin suggests, originally declare Rep. Ellison as “kosher” on his views toward Israel.  In fact, while we defended him from political attacks based on his Muslim faith, we also expressed concerns in our original statement on Twitter that the Congressman had taken positions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on the Iran deal, “on which we strongly differ and that concern us.”

Furthermore, the Anti-Defamation League’s subsequent decision to speak out about an audio recording featuring Rep. Keith Ellison discussing U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East hardly constitutes “an embarrassing retreat.”  Rather, it was an acknowledgement, after reviewing new evidence that came to light, that his words now raised very serious doubts that need to be addressed.

Many people, Mr. Tobin included, are wont to view the Ellison contretemps through a political and partisan lens. We are strictly non-partisan, and believe that strong U.S. support for Israel is a bipartisan imperative. Our only agenda is to ensure that the next leader of the DNC and any major American political party faithfully will maintain traditional support for Israel and continue to prioritize the US-Israel bilateral relationship.

Sincerely, 

Marvin D. Nathan
National Chair

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