ADL: Ellison's Statements About Israel 'Disqualifying' for DNC Chairman

The Anti-Defamation League declared today that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is "disqualified" from being chairman of the Democratic National Committee based on remarks the congressman made about Israel in a 2010 speech.

But Ellison shot back that an "anti-Muslim extremist" was trying to derail his candidacy.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism, run by Steven Emerson, released this week an audio clip of Ellison speaking at a 2010 fundraiser.

“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people,” Ellison says on the tape. “A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?”

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said the group did not "rush to judgment" after Ellison announced his intention to run for the top DNC spot despite "real concern where Rep. Ellison held divergent policy views, particularly related to Israel’s security."

"New information recently has come to light that raises serious concerns about whether Rep. Ellison faithfully could represent the Democratic Party’s traditional support for a strong and secure Israel," Greenblatt said in a statement today, referencing Ellison's past comments as "both deeply disturbing and disqualifying."

"His words imply that U.S. foreign policy is based on religiously or national origin-based special interests rather than simply on America’s best interests," he said. "Additionally, whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives, but that has no place in open societies like the U.S."