Outrageous Anti-Arab Racism From Florida GOP Candidate
Washington DC, October 16 — Today the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) the nation’s largest Arab-American membership organization, strongly condemned racist anti-Arab remarks by Ric Keller, the Republican nominee for the House of Representatives from central Florida’s 8th district. At an event on Oct. 12, Keller said “I think Palestinians are lower than pond scum” and endorsed Israel’s bombing of defenseless Palestinian cities.
Keller’s remarks attacked the Palestinian people as a whole after two weeks which have seen the deaths of over one hundred Palestinians, most of them unarmed civilians and many of them children. Palestinians have been protesting against 33 years of Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. On October 7, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1322, which “condemns acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, resulting in injury and loss of human life” and “calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949.”
ADC President Hala Maksoud said “Racist remarks such as Mr. Keller’s, which demonize an entire people, are completely unacceptable. This is yet another example of the double-standard which applies in our society against Arabs. One can readily imagine the justifiable outcry if a political candidate had suggested, for any reason, that ‘Jews are lower than pond scum.’ Mr. Keller obviously has the impression that, when it comes to Arabs, the normal standards of decency and civility do not apply and he can disparage all of them as a group with impunity. It is up to the rest of us to make sure that this impression is corrected and that Mr. Keller comes to realize that Arabs are entitled to the same measure of respect as any other group.”
ADC is contacting the Republican National Committee (RNC) with a request that they repudiate these highly racist remarks by their nominee.