Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, who protested over a decade ago that he rejected and condemned “the anti-Semitic statements and actions of the Nation of Islam [and] Louis Farrakhan,” somehow had no problem attending a private dinner in 2013 with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at which Farrakhan was in attendance.
As Haaretz reports, in 2016, when Ellison ran for the leadership of the Democratic National Committee, he reiterated his position on Farrakhan, stating that he condemned Farrakhan’s “hatred and division, including, anti-Semitism, homophobia and a chauvinistic model of manhood. I disavowed them long ago, condemned their views, and apologized.”
Ellison had written op-eds praising Farrakhan in the 1990’s; Ellison stated in 1995, “Minister Farrakhan is a role model for Black youth; however, he is not an anti-semite." Ellison worked for Farrakhan for 18 months before Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March.
Ellison’s meeting with Rouhani, the head of a government intent on destroying the state of Israel, is unsurprising; Ellison’s hatred of Israel has been in evidence for almost 30 years. In 1990, while attending law school at the university of Minnesota, Ellison slammed the university president for criticizing Kwame Ture (also known as Stokely Carmichael), who had publicly stated that Zionists had collaborated with the Nazis in World War II and added, "Zionism must be destroyed." Ellison wrote, "Zionism, the ideological undergirding of Israel, is a debatable political philosophy.”
Rouhani had just been elected president of Iran in 2013 when the 2013 dinner was arranged by Iranian diplomats. Haaretz reports the dinner was publicized on Nation of Islam websites but went unreported until a Wall Street Journal op-ed noted it last week.