Last week, Keith Ellison became the first Muslim Congressman in the history of the United States. What really caused a commotion was his insistence on being sworn in to office with his left hand on a Koran instead of a Bible.
David Ha'ivriFollow @haivri on Twitter.The writer, his wife Mollie and their 8 children live in Kfar Tapuach, Shomron, Israel. He is a well known speaker and a social media master, provides public relations and strategic planning for philanthropists, public figures and investors.
Dennis Prager, a Jew, came out of his corner punching, claiming that Ellison's deed was "damaging to the fabric of American civilization," and saying that "for all of American history, Jews elected to public office have taken their oath on the Bible, even though they do not believe in the New Testament...."
Of course, not only does such a statement prove that Prager does not really take the Torah seriously, it also proves his hypocrisy. For if I were to make derogatory statements similar to those of Prager concerning an Arab elected to the Israeli parliament, I'd be in jail here in Israel and Prager would be praising Israeli democracy.
Ellision is not an immigrant to the US; he is what is today called an African-American and he received 56% of the votes in Minnesota, a state where religions such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism together make up only 3% of the population, and Blacks only 4%. It would seem hard to claim that he was voted in because he is a Muslim.
What is the issue? America is supposed to be a land of freedom of religion and separation of Church and State, so why make a commotion if the man wants to swear an oath on the Koran if he is a Muslim? Why shouldn't an American citizen have the right to take an oath on whatever religious book he wants? The people elected him knowing full well who he is.
In my eyes, the issue is not whether the man is a Muslim or a Christian, or if he used the Koran or the New Testament to swear in to the Congress. The main issue that interests us, as Jews and Israelis, is if the man is sympathetic to the Jewish cause or if he is our enemy.
Let's point out that not every Muslim is an enemy of the Jewish people. There are Muslim countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that have warm diplomatic relations with Israel and very little internal anti-Semitism. And, of course, not all Christian members of Congress are friends of Israel.
The question of Keith Ellison should focus more on his relationship with the Nation of Islam and Jesse Jackson, nether of whom are Muslim, but both of whom are known for their hatred of Jews. Ellison was born and raised in a Roman Catholic home in Detroit, Michigan. In the late 1980s, he attended law school at the University of Minnesota, there he became involved in Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam. Farrakhan, a known bigot and anti-Semite, is the self-proclaimed prophet of the Nation of Islam, which is no more than a Black supremacist cult (according to Farrakhan, he has been zapped up to "the Mother Wheel" - a UFO - and received there the message from above). In the early 1990s, Ellison wrote articles and made public statements in defense of Farrakhan and other Nation of Islam people in defense of their racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
Ellison comes off as a clean-cut family man and he is obviously highly regarded in Minnesota. Today, he denounces the Nation of Islam and Farrakhan: "I wrongly dismissed concerns that they [Farrakhan's remarks] were anti-Semitic. They were and are anti-Semitic and I should have come to that conclusion earlier than I did." (Chicago Tribune, June 30, 2006) But Ellison's campaign was aided by people like Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR; a group that is accused of supporting Islamic terrorism in the Middle East), James Yee (the former Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay who was suspected of being a spy) and by Black anti-Semite Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson (who has been "sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust"). Ellison's history and his "celebrity list" of supporters justifies suspicion that he might be a fox in wolf's clothing.
The question is: Where do Ellison's loyalties lie? Is he anti-Israel and anti-West? Who knows? He says that he is a patriotic American and has denounced Islamic terrorists, and that he regrets supporting Farrakhan. Perhaps losers like Jessie Jackson tag on to him simply because they needs to grab some winning action. Other Islam-oriented groups may be supporting him strictly because he is Black and Muslim, and they have nobody else they can endorse.
There are so many elected officials who have sworn their oath of office on the Bible and have not lived up to it. If this Muslim does, it will be a wonderful surprise. If he doesn't, then it changes nothing.
This is what should concern us, and this is where Jews like Prager should be making noise. But people like Dennis Prager are not capable of getting to the crux of the matter, because they have convinced themselves that America is some sort of utopia for the Jewish people. They are the staunch defenders of "the fabric of American civilization," instead of being defenders of Israel's survival. Instead of seeing the anti-Semitism in both Black and White, and realizing that the Jews have no future in the exile, they spit in the face of historical precedent and call the exile a land of milk and honey.
The issue here is not Muslim Ellison or Jefferson's Koran. The issue is Jews like Prager whose Judeo-Christian fantasyland is uncomfortably being threatened by the seeds of Islam in America. Let this be a wake-up call to American Jews - time to come home. The Promised Land for the Jews is Israel, not America, so start packing your bags.
On the other hand, perhaps Ellison's election victory will arouse similar sentiments and encourage a huge Arab emigration from Israel to Minnesota. That certainly would be one way of solving the "Palestinian problem."