Haim Saban calls Ellison an 'anti-Semite'

Haim Saban calls Ellison an 'anti-Semite'
© Haiyun Jiang

Haim Saban, the Israeli-American billionaire who donated to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE’s presidential campaign, has called Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) an "anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual."

The remarks come as Ellison pushes to shore up support in his bid to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). 

"If you go back to his positions, his papers, his speeches, the way he has voted, he is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual," Saban said Friday during a forum at the Brookings Institution, according to CNN.

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"Words matter and actions matter more. Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party,” he added.

Saban’s statement came unprompted, according to CNN.

Ellison has received criticism over past comments defending Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. A 2015 report from the Anti-Defamation League highlighted a number of Farrakhan's comments on the Jewish community over the years.

In 2012, according to the report, Farrakhan said “that the Koran says that Jews are the most violent of people. I didn't write it, but I'm living to see it.”

The ADL this week blasted Ellison over his own remarks on Israel in a 2010 speech, questioning his ability to “represent the Democratic Party's traditional support for a strong and secure Israel."

The group said the congressman raised "the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government."

Ellison responded by calling himself "a strong supporter of the Jewish state" and saying he's voted for more than $27 billion in aid to Israel and was committed to the safety of the Jewish state.

Ellison said he was "saddened" by the ADL's statement but looks forward to working with them.