Former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader condemned Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.) on Sunday for softening his stance against Israel.
Nader said Ellison's tamped down anti-Israel rhetoric was an attempt to placate establishment political leaders as part of his effort to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the Observer reported.
Speaking at the Progressive Unity Summit, Nader said Ellison no longer embodied one of the "top progressive legislators in the Congress" as he did five years ago. The 82-year-old environmentalist accused Ellison of attempting to pull support from DNC chair opponent Thomas Perez, who served as labor secretary under the Obama administration.
"When he started running for the chair of the DNC, he began changing: toning down his opinions, not repeating progressive positions," Nader said. "Then he said that, because he was losing ground to the establishment who wanted former Secretary of Labor Perez to be the chair, he said, well he would quit his seat, won't be a part-time chair, starts backing off on Israel-Palestine issue."
"So I think, do we have the real Keith Ellison or do we have a transformed, conditioned Keith Ellison so desperate for the position that he's forgotten a lot of his own former courageous stands and is willing to spend the lot of his time raising money from Democratic Party fat cats, which is the prime occupation of the chair of the Democratic National Committee," Nader continued.
The DNC will elect a successor to current chairwoman Donna Brazile next month. Nader predicted that Perez would easily win the slot.