Candidate forum for DNC chair to be held at venue owned by anti-Israel activist



The entrance sign to the Busboys and Poets restaurant. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Candidates for chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will participate in a forum hosted later this month at a restaurant owned by an anti-Israel activist, the Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday.

The candidate forum, hosted by the Democratic advocacy group Democracy in Color, will be held at the Washington, D.C.-based Busboys and Poets, a restaurant and theater owned by Iraqi-born Andy Shallal. 

The Free Beacon, following up on Politico’s initial report that the forum will take place in late January, cited a past report quoting Shallal as saying at a rally in 2007, “Israel continues to violate international law…while the U.S. and its allies sit on the side, getting its marching orders from Tel Aviv. Folks, this is not an accident—this is a plan to create a new American-Israeli century, and those who dare to speak out will be squashed….A century where the military will continue to call the shots, and where Israel, America’s largest arms depot, will continue to control and terrorize the region.”

Further, the Free Beacon quoted a report from 2013 that said Busboys and Poets has sold t-shirts stating “Occupation Isn’t Pretty,” referring to Israeli control in the disputed territories.

Leading up to this month’s candidate forum, the frontrunner for DNC chair is U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a vocal congressional supporter of the Palestinian cause who has organized letters urging more U.S. pressure on Israel and voted against funding Israel's Iron Dome missile system. Ellison’s DNC bid has drawn significant opposition in the Jewish community, including from Jewish Democrats such as mega-donor Haim Saban, who has said that Ellison’s party chairmanship “would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party.”

Posted on January 6, 2017 .