For months, Democrats have been taking shots at Donald Trump and his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, formerly the CEO of Breitbart.com, as notorious anti-Semites, people who hate Jews.

This is so bizarre that it needs to be confronted publicly rather than ignored. Anti-Semite Trump has a daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is an orthodox Jew; he has grandchildren who are orthodox Jews; his son-in-law Jared Kushner is not only an orthodox Jew, but one of his main advisers, often credited for winning him the White House. Not only that, but anti-Semite Trump made a central plank of his campaign platform that he would be a stalwart friend of Israel and would face down Israel’s enemies in the Middle East such as Iran.

Anti-Semite Bannon hired Joel Pollak, an orthodox Jew, to be the editor of his news empire at Breitbart.com, which was founded by the Jewish iconoclast Andrew Breitbart. He also hired Jewish journalist Aaron Klein to head up Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau. Moreover, under his leadership, Breitbart.com has been a leading voice in the fight against Islamic terrorism, the greatest threat facing Israel and Judaism.

This is not anti-Semitism; this is respect for one of the world’s great religions.

But consider the strange case of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who has been whitewashed by his fellow Democrats as some kind of pure progressive who is going to rescue the country from the evil Trump and Bannon.

He’s been endorsed by Sen. Harry Reid, who is retiring as Minority Leader in January. He’s been endorsed by Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will take over as the Minority Leader in the next session of the Senate. He’s been endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is the patron saint of the progressive left. He’s been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist from Vermont.

So plainly, he must be a tremendous friend and ally of Jews throughout the world. Otherwise, the people who call Trump and Bannon anti-Semites would never have endorsed him, right?

Actually, wrong. Because, unlike Trump and Bannon, Ellison has plainly done and said things which are or should be offensive to Jews. In particular, in a 2010 speech, Ellison said, “The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic?”

That country of 7 million people is the Jewish state of Israel, America’s best ally in the Middle East.

Moreover, Ellison’s speech was made in support of the political campaign of Esam Omeish to be elected to the Minnesota state Assembly. Omeish is a radical Muslim who has praised Palestinian jihad against Israel. He was also called “my beloved brother” by Keith Ellison. Ellison was also mentored for 10 years by the infamous anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, the longtime leader of the Nation of Islam. Ellison has since denounced Farrakhan, but there could never have been any doubt in his mind that Farrakhan hated and villainized Jews, calling Judaism a “gutter religion,” among many other slanders.

No such words have ever come out of Donald Trump’s mouth, nor out of Steve Bannon’s. Yes, they have attacked individuals who happen to be Jewish, such as the globalist billionaire George Soros, yet those attacks were never based on religion, but rather on his dangerous ideas.

Anti-Semite, racist, Nazi, misogynist and other such terms have become nothing more than political Molotov cocktails intended to incite and inflame hatred without evidence. We should and must resist such destructive labels, and ought to instead focus on policies and ideas, which have substance and meaning and can be debated appropriately in the political forum.

Anyone who hates Jews, who hates blacks, who hates women or who hates Muslims simply because of their name or their appearance is beneath contempt. But I am not saying anything new or surprising. Ninety-nine percent of Americans already believe in the principle that all men and women are created equal, but that does not seem to stop some people with ulterior motives from trying to divide us and rip us apart. Before you believe hurtful attacks on people’s integrity and honor, always demand evidence. Turn your back on those who are evil, and resist those who would falsely destroy another’s reputation.

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Frank Miele is managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana.

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(c)2016 the Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Mont.)

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