WASHINGTON — The Anti-Defamation League blasted on Sunday Rep. Danny Davis, an Illinois Democrat, for lacking the “courage” to condemn anti-Semitic preacher Louis Farrakhan.
“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,” an ADL spokesman told JTA.
Davis in a Daily Caller interview posted Sunday doubled down on an earlier interview in which he called the Nation of Islam leader “an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate.”
The ADL had sought a clarification from Davis on the earlier interview, an ADL official said, and Davis said the remarks were out of context and he asked for more information about Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. The ADL provided Davis with a compilation of Farrakhan’s virulent attacks on Jews over the decades.
In the more recent interview, Davis told the Daily Caller that he did not regard the allegations of anti-Semitism as important.
“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,” he told the online news site.
“We are deeply disappointed with Congressman Davis’s statements about Farrakhan, an avowed anti-Semite who leads a group that traffics in hate not just towards Jews but also the LGBTQ community,” the ADL spokesman said. “Hate should not be difficult to denounce. Once again we’re calling on the congressman to denounce anti-Semitism and all forms of hate.”