Senator Bernie Sanders has a long sad career of standing with leftist anti-Semites and hating Israel. The legion of bigots he’s aligned with run the gamut from Jesse Jackson, post-Hymietown, to Keith Ellison, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Linda Sarsour.
He also keeps pushing to redirect foreign aid from Israel to Hamas.
So a Sanders editorial on anti-Semitism is bound to be a farce. And that’s what this is.
Antisemitism is rising in this country. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Jews rose by more than a third in 2017 and accounted for 58% of all religion-based hate crimes in America. A total of 938 hate crimes were committed against Jews in 2017, up from 684 in 2016. The New York Police Department reported in September that antisemitic hate crimes in New York City have risen by more than 63% in 2019 and make up more than half of all reported hate crimes…
This wave of violence is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.
Bernie used to live in New York. Is he under the impression that it’s a major hub of white supremacists?
Most of the anti-Semitic violence in New York was carried out by black perpetrators. This isn’t a contested issue. It’s been admitted by major papers like the New York Times.
The synagogue shootings in the last few years were carried out by white supremacists. The everyday violence in New York City is very much the work of black supremacists.
Why does Bernie avoid the fact?
He has surrounded his campaign with the latter. And he has a long history of defending leftist anti-Semitic figures. So Bernie snaps into action by proposing to fight anti-Semitism… by accusing lefties of being victims of false accusations of anti-Semitism.
Opposing antisemitism is a core value of progressivism. So it’s very troubling to me that we are also seeing accusations of antisemitism used as a cynical political weapon against progressives.
A “cynical political weapon”.
Against whom? Rep. Omar? Jeremy Corbyn? Bernie doesn’t specify. Instead he dives into the false strawman that any criticism of anti-Semitism on the Left is really about delegitimizing criticism of Israel.
We should be very clear that it is not antisemitic to criticize the policies of the Israeli government.
Is anyone claiming otherwise?
But Bernie has neatly pivoted from talking about fighting anti-Semitism on the Right to fighting Jews who criticize leftist anti-Semitism.
This isn’t fighting anti-Semitism. It’s collaborating with it.
And that’s what Bernie has been doing his whole life.
Bernie Sanders cheered the Sandanista regime whose mobs chanted “Death to the Jews,” “Jewish Pigs” and “What Hitler started we will finish.”
In 1971, he told an audience, “no guns for Israel.” Two years later, the Yom Kippur War brought Israel to the brink of destruction and shipments of American arms made the difference. But Bernie Sanders did not care and in 1988 still insisted that, “It is wrong that the United States provides arms to Israel.”
Bernie Sanders brags about his endorsement from Congressman Keith Ellison despite his past support for the Nation of Islam and his appearance with Khalid Abdul Muhammad who had called Jews “bloodsuckers” and had said, “If you’re a Jew, I’m against you.” Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan, who calls Jews “false Jews”, praised Bernie Sanders as a “real Jew, not a so-called Jew”.
Sanders met with Al Sharpton despite his anti-Semitic remarks and the horror of the Crown Heights Pogrom in which an entire Jewish community was besieged by racist mobs chanting, “Death to the Jews”. The former Democratic presidential candidate had taunted, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Not a problem for Bernie Sanders.
When Bernie Sanders reached out for perspective on the Middle East during his campaign, he contacted James Zogby, who defended Hamas and Hezbollah, and Lawrence Wilkerson, who had accused Jewish officials of dual loyalty and suggested that Israel was behind Assad’s chemical weapons attacks.
But halfway in to an article about fighting anti-Semitism, Bernie pivots and will spend the rest of it bashing Israel.
That also sums him up neatly.
I have a connection to Israel going back many years. In 1963, I lived on a kibbutz near Haifa. It was there that I saw and experienced for myself many of the progressive values upon which Israel was founded.
Bernie neglects to mention that it was a Stalinist kibbutz that was anti-Israel.
Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim had been co-founded by Aharon Cohen, the Arabist, who was a regular critic of Israel and opponent of its policy. He was arrested for spying for the USSR in the 50s.
Its founder, Ya’akov Hazan, described the USSR as a second homeland and eulogized Stalin, writing how shocked he and his comrades were, “to hear of the terrible tragedy that has befallen the nations of the Soviet Union, the world proletariat and all of progressive mankind, upon the death of the great leader and extolled commander, Josef Vissarionovich Stalin. We lower our flag in grief in memory of the great revolutionary fighter, architect of socialist construction, and leader of the world’s peace movement. His huge historical achievements will guide generations in their march towards the reign of socialism and communism the world over.”
Al Hamishmar, the movement’s paper, had a headline which read, “The Progressive World Mourns the Death of J.V. Stalin”
These are not “progressive” values. They’re Communist.
Bernie writes, “And just as Palestinians should recognize the just claims of Israeli Jews, supporters of Israel must understand why Palestinians view Israel’s creation as they do. Acknowledging these realities does not “delegitimize” Israel any more than acknowledging the sober facts of America’s own founding delegitimizes the United States.”
At least Bernie is consistent in delegitimizing both America and Israel.
I will always call out antisemitism when I see it. My ancestors would expect no less of me.
Keith Ellison. Jesse Jackson. Ilhan Omar. Hamas. Bernie?
“The struggle against antisemitism is also the struggle for Palestinian freedom,” Bernie confusingly claims.
Apparently shooting Jewish children and stabbing rabbis is the struggle against anti-Semitism.