Today on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings With Maria Bartiromo,” famed Harvard University professor and acclaimed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz said that if Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is becomes chair of the Democratic National Committee, he would leave the party to which he has been loyal for decades.
Ellison is one of only two Muslims in the U.S. Congress and is under fire for his praise of the controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a public figure who has long expressed racist and anti-Semitics views from the pulpit. The progressive Ellison has also been associated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He was also a member of the Democratic party's platform committee this year, and a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
Dershowitz said, “If they now appoint Keith Ellison, who worked with Farrakhan, to be chairman of the DNC, you’re going to see a lot of people leave. I’m going to tell you right here on this show, and this is news, if they appoint Keith Ellison to be chairman of the Democratic party, I will resign my membership to the Democratic party after 50 years of being a loyal Democrat. I will still vote my conscience and mostly I will vote for Democrats, but I will not be a member of a party that represents itself through a chairman like Keith Ellison, and through policies, like that espoused by John Kerry and Barack Obama.”
Many Democrats have been disturbed by President Barack Obama's decision to abstain during a crucial vote on December 23 in the Security Council of the United Nations that declared that Israel's settlements in the West Bank region are illegal. The move has been seen widely as a slap at President-elect Donald Trump. Trump's top advisor, Kellyanne Conway said that Obama's move was "incredibly weak," while she sought to reassure the world that the incoming Trump administration is an ally of Israel.
Key Democrats in the Senate have expressed anger at Secretary of State John Kerry, who gave a speech defending the Obama administration's abstention at the UN and suggesting that Israel must choose between democracy and its Jewish heritage. Among them are Sens. Chuck Schumer (NY), Ron Wyden (OR), Chris Coons (DE), Joe Manchin (WV), and Richard Blumenthal (CT).
Dershowitz condemned the New York Times for issuing "fake news" after the newspaper asserted that only "right-wing Jews" are critical of Obama's relationship with Israel. The scholar identified himself as a "liberal, left-wing Jew" who opposes Obama on the issue, while also identifying Sen. Wyden as a liberal who is also critical. He noted that British Prime Minister Theresa May is on record as being more supportive of Israel, a key U.S. ally, than the Obama administration. He also took the administration to task for criticizing Israeli voters for having placed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in office, noting that this is not something that allies should do.