WASHINGTON -- Rep. Keith Ellison said Tuesday he has a long record of fighting anti-Semitism and strongly condemns the Nation of Islam in light of several op-eds published this week that accuse the Minneapolis congressman of secretly supporting Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Ellison is running to chair the Democratic National Committee.
This week, op-eds in the Weekly Standard and Tablet, a Jewish news website, touted quiet ties Ellison had with the Nation of Islam -- a black political movement dubbed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Ellison's camp sent out a list of clarifications with the op-eds, saying Ellison has condemned the Nation of Islam and other groups that promote anti-Semitic statements. In 2003, Ellison helped prosecute Holocaust deniers in the state legislature, his spokesman said. Long-time Jewish activist Steve Rabinowitz penned an op-ed in the Jersusalem Post defending Ellison's record.
"Keith forcefully rejects anti-Semitism and other forms of hate or discrimination – values that define the foundation of his public service and his vision for America," an Ellison spokesman said.
His staff also points out Ellison was endorsed by Sen. Chuck Schumer, the incoming Senate minority leader, and a strong supporter of Israel.
"I have long supported a two-state solution and a democratic and secure state for the Jewish people, with a democratic and viable Palestinian state side-by-side in peace and dignity," Ellison said, in an emailed statement. "I don't believe boycotting, divesting and sanctioning Israel helps us achieve that goal."