Ralph Nader pans Keith Ellison for 'toning down' Israel stance

Former US presidential candidate accuses DNC chair contender of shifting his stance on the Jewish state.

January 23, 2017 16:39
2 minute read.
US REP. Keith Ellison speaks during the first session at the Democratic National Convention in Phila

US REP. Keith Ellison speaks during the first session at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last July.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Former US presidential candidate Ralph Nader has accused Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison of shifting his political stance on Israel as part of his campaign for Democratic National Convention chairman.

The New York Observer cited the former Green Party contender as charging Sunday that, compared to five years ago, Ellison was no longer one of the "top progressive legislators in the Congress."

Speaking at the Progressive Unity Summit in Washington, Nader lambasted Ellison for "toning down his opinions" when he began his run for DNC chair last year.

Nader charged that Ellison's alleged shift also included "not repeating progressive positions." He indicated that the entrance of former US labor secretary Tom Perez to the DNC race in part catalyzed the purported change in Ellison's stance.

Speaking to the Observer about Ellison, Nader said: "because he was losing ground to the establishment who wanted former Secretary of Labor Perez to be the chair, he said, well he would quit his seat, won’t be a part-time chair, starts backing off on Israel-Palestine issue."

Pro-Israel activists have recently expressed concern that Ellison would distance the Democratic party further away from Israel if he wins the race for party chair. Earlier in January, he opposed a Republican-backed motion that slammed a UN resolution critical of Israeli settlements.

Though he says he supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has visited Israel several times, Ellison has in the past been critical of Israeli government policy. He voted against additional funding for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system in 2014. Ellison has otherwise consistently voted for defense assistance to Israel. Additionally, in 2009, he spearheaded a letter from 54 Democrats urging then-US President Barack Obama to press Israel to ease its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Ellison made history in 2006 when he became the first Muslim elected to Congress. He has previously been involved with the Nation of Islam, but has since renounced the group.

In his rebuke on Sunday, Nader also asserted that he was not sure whether the "real Keith Ellison" or what he said was the "transformed, conditioned Keith Ellison" would emerge to lead the Democratic party if he wins the internal election at the end of February.

Ellison's office has not yet provided comment on the matter.

JTA contributed to this report. 

Related Content

Activist Kyle Kashuv addresses the 148th National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Indianap
June 19, 2019
Harvard dropped Jewish pro-gun Parkland student over racist comments, was it justified?


Cookie Settings