Dershowitz: Obama, Ellison have 'special obligation' to condemn Farrakhan

Dershowitz: Obama, Ellison have 'special obligation' to condemn Farrakhan
© Fox & Friends

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said Thursday that former President Obama and Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonKeith Ellison: Evidence points to Trump being 'sympathetic' to white nationalist point of view Trump: Media 'working overtime to blame me' for New Zealand attack Democrats upset over Omar seeking primary challenger MORE (D-Minn.) have a special obligation, because of their participation in the Million Man March, to denounce statements from Louis Farrakhan made on Twitter comparing Jews to insects.

"He's a classic anti-Semite," Dershowitz said on "Fox and Friends" of Farrakhan, who posted a video to Twitter Wednesday with the caption, "I'm not an anti-Semite. I'm an anti-Termite."

Dershowitz, a Hill opinion contributor, said Thursday that the analogy "comes right out of the Nazi playbook" and that Farrakhan has been explicit about his hatred of Jews.

"He's blamed the Jews for all the problems of the world. He's called Judaism a religion of Satan," Dershowitz said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"All good people have to come out and condemn, but especially people who participated in the Million Man March in 1995, headed by Farrakhan, which really made him prominent in American politics," he said.

"People like Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhatever happened to nuclear abolition? On The Money: Trump presses GM, union to start talks over closed plant | Trump renews call to cut arts, PBS funding | Alan Krueger, former Obama economic adviser, dies at 58 | Americans expected to bet .5B on March Madness Obama reminisces about visit to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day: 'It'll always be O'Bama' MORE participated in the March and proudly defended it," he explained. "People like Keith Ellison, who worked closely with Farrakhan, these folks have a special obligation to condemn."

Dershowitz praised Chelsea Clinton for slamming Farrakhan's comments, but said he wished her father, former President Clinton, had done the same.

"Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonHill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides A Weld challenge to Trump would provide Republicans a clear choice History teaches that Nancy Pelosi is right about impeachment MORE sat next to Farrakhan at the funeral of [Aretha] Franklin, and he has a special obligation too," he said. "Silence is not the appropriate response to Farrakhan's bigotry."

Dershowitz went further, saying that people on the left have a duty to condemn Farrakhan because of his association with that side of the political spectrum.

"There's this special obligation, just like there's a special obligation of people on the extreme right to condemn the alt-right when they engage in anti-Semitism or bigotry," Dershowitz said.

When asked why he thought Democrats were reluctant to lambast Farrakhan with the same vigor with which they attack the alt-right, Dershowitz said he thought it was political.

"I think there's a fear of losing the base," he explained. "There are many voters in some parts of the country Louis Farrakhan and some areas could become swing voters and people don't want to lose their extremes."

He added that the tendency is not one-sided.

"We're seeing it on the Republican side, too," Dershowitz said. "Some Republicans refuse to condemn the alt-right because they want them as voters."

Every American has to get together and say we don't want haters to vote for us," he concluded. "We want to make sure they are universally condemned. We don't want them on our side."