April 20, 2009

Ellison on the Middle East

I've spent all evening editing, which, as much as I love it, requires that I put my own voice on hold for a bit. While I work on getting that back, I recommend reading two articles from the MinnPost about how my representative, Keith Ellison, is navigating Middle East policy. As the first Muslim in Congress, he faces some additional pressures, but I think he's doing a good job in general.

In an event in March, sponsored by the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, Ellison talked to the group about the suffering he saw on his trip to both Gaza and — he pointed out with emphasis — Sderot. He repeatedly called for an opening of the crossings into Gaza and for a halt to Israel's settlement expansion, statements that received loud cheers from the audience.

At the same time, Ellison ducked questions from the audience about issuing sanctions against Israel. Instead, he urged the group to "put on the shoes of the person who is Jewish…a person dealing with 2,000 years of perceived stigmatism."

He doesn't have an enviable position, but who among the people actually trying to address these problems does?

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