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

Dershowitz: Obama, Ellison have 'special obligation' to condemn Farrakhan
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Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said Thursday that former President Obama and Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonMinnesota sues Juul over rise in youth vaping Jane Fonda calls for protecting water resources at weekly DC climate protest Progressives ramp up fight against Facebook 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. 

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"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 ObamaModerate or left of center — which is better for Democrats in 2020? Obama: Countries facing severe effects of climate change offer 'moral call to rest of the world' Democrats' self-inflicted diversity vulnerability 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 ClintonWhether a rule is cruel or kind, regulatory analysis shines a light Moderate or left of center — which is better for Democrats in 2020? Judiciary members battle over whether GOP treated fairly in impeachment hearings 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."