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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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A childish game of many years ago was to tag an unsuspecting victim with a note that read “Kick Me.”

In 2009, as president of the then New Milford Jewish Center I was addressing the congregation on Yom Kippur. I said that as a group we had a virtual “Kick Me” sign stuck to our backs. In our zeal for social justice and the effort to lend a hand to the oppressed and less fortunate, we tended to excuse those who wished us no good. Indeed, they wished us harm.

Traditionally as a more liberal group, Jews tended to side with Democrats, especially on a national scale. That love has not been returned. Barack Obama famously three times insulted Bibi Netanyahu. Once when he was brought into the White House through a back entrance as opposed to the formal greeting given every other visiting dignitary. Second when Bibi was left sitting in a reception room while the president went upstairs for dinner with his family. And third, most notoriously, when he thought a mic was dead and he was overheard insulting Netanyahu to the French president.

Now one of the rising stars in the Democratic Party is Rep. Keith Ellison, a disciple of the viciously anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan. Ellison missed by a hair becoming chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Former cabinet member Tom Perez beat Ellison by a hair after several rounds of balloting. Perez then named Ellison as vice chair of the DNC.

The only serious voice raised in opposition to Ellison’s candidacy was that of Alan Dershowitz, who threatened to leave the party if Ellison was chosen chair of the DNC. But for the most part Jews remained silent, displaying their “Kick Me” sign.

Ellison insulted the intelligence of everyone when he stated that he was “unaware” of Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. The world knew but Ellison was in the dark? Kick Me. Farrakhan publicly called Judaism a “gutter religion.” But Ellison never heard that? Kick Me again.

Ellison himself indulged in anti-Semitic comments. While a law student, he was reported to have told a fellow student that he could not respect her because she was a Jew, and a woman should not be allowed to be in law school. Ellison is a Muslim and that is a Muslim tenet. Women are chattels and not worthy of advancement. Kick Me.

Ellison was also a supporter of Stokely Carmichael, another confirmed anti-Semite. When there were protests over Stokely speaking at University of Minnesota, Ellison was quoted as saying: “The University’s position appears to be this: Political Zionism is off-limits no matter what dubious circumstances Israel was founded under…” Kick Me.

As recently as 2009, Ellison headed a fundraiser for Esam Omeish, then a candidate for Virginia State Legislature who infamously told the Palestinians, “The Jihad is on the way to liberate your land.” Kick Me.

In 1990, Ellison accused the University president of “chilling free expression of black students…” by criticizing Carmichael who had been invited to speak to the Africana Student Cultural Center. Carmichael had said Zionists collaborated with the Nazis and murdered other Jews in World War II so that Jews would flee to “Palestine.” Kick Me.

Ellison often, while in law school, wrote articles defending Farrakhan and Carmichael. In fact, CNN uncovered Ellison’s writings and his decade-long involvement in Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam and his continued defense of Farrakhan and other black radicals and their continued accusations of anti-Semitism. Kick Me.

Isn’t it time Jews tore off the Kick Me sign and began supporting those who support us instead of bending to those who wish us no good? Let’s not say “Kick Me” any more.

Bob Nesoff

New Milford