The close vote by the Democratic National Committee to reject Keith Ellison as its chairperson was a victory for basic decency, and a defeat for the kind of bigotry represented by Ellison’s past associations with Louis Farrakhan and his current voting record against Israel’s Iron Dome. Ellison’s loss is not attributable to any “smear campaign,” as some of his supporters have falsely alleged, but rather to his own actions, both past and present.
Would anyone call it a smear if a candidate’s history of sexism, racism or homophobia had been exposed? Why, then, is it a smear to have raised questions based on Ellison’s past associations with antisemitism and his current anti-Israel voting record? Nor was it a smear to question Ellison’s credibility when he said that he was not aware that Farrakhan was an antisemite, as Farrakhan himself was publicly boasting about his Jew-hatred.
The smear charge itself reflects the kind of double standard within elements of the Democratic Party that worry centrist pro-Israel voters. Both Democrats and Republicans alike must have the same zero tolerance for antisemitism as they do for sexism, racism and homophobia
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