A Democratic lawmaker from Chicago who called Rev. Louis Farrakhan “an outstanding human being,” lacks “courage,” a spokesman from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Sunday.
The ADL criticism was prompted by two interviews in which Rep. Danny Davis (D – Ill.) praised the Nation of Islam leader, who is known for making anti-Semitic remarks.
In his first interview with the Daily Caller, Davis had called Farrakhan “an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate.”
The ADL subsequently asked Davis to clarify his remarks and provided him with quotes of Farrakhan attacking Jews collected over many years.
Despite the documentation of Farrakhan’s record, in a followup interview with the Daily Caller, Davis said, “I know Farrakhan, been knowing him for years and years and years and years and years, and every once in a while some writer or somebody will I guess try to think of something to say about Farrakhan, but nah, my world is so much bigger than any of that.”
Following Davis’s failure to condemn Farrakhan, the ADL spokesman said, “It is unfortunate that the congressman apparently can’t muster up the courage to denounce Farrakhan’s blatant anti-Semitism and instead chose to praise him instead.”
Aiden Pink of The Forward reported on Monday that J-Street, which describes itself as a pro-Israel organization, is endorsing Davis for reelection despite his praise of Farrakhan. Representatives of J-Street did not respond to questions from The Forward about the endorsement.
Farrakhan and his record of anti-Semitism have been in the news recently as one of the founders of the Women’s March, Tamika Mallory attended a speech by Farrakah. Mallory and other founders of the movement, including Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez, have praised Farrakhan.
[Photo: City Club of Chicago / YouTube]