Too many people were besotted with Bloomberg bashing to understand that the reason he won so many elections is that the alternatives were much, much worse.
Bill de Blasio, then 26, went to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine in the middle of a war between left and right. But he returned with something else entirely: a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government.
Mr. de Blasio became an ardent supporter of the Nicaraguan revolutionaries. He helped raise funds for the Sandinistas in New York and subscribed to the party’s newspaper, Barricada, or Barricade. When he was asked at a meeting in 1990 about his goals for society, he said he was an advocate of “democratic socialism.”
Now, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, describes himself as a progressive. He has campaigned for mayor as a liberal firebrand who would set out to reduce inequality in the city by offering more help to poor families and asking wealthy residents to pay more in taxes. He said that seeing the efforts of the Sandinistas up close strengthened his view that government should protect and enhance the lives of the poor.
“It was very affecting for me,” Mr. de Blasio said of his work with Nicaraguans, in a recent interview. “They were in their own humble way, in this small country, trying to figure out what would work better.”
What did the Sandinistas do that worked better? Ask the Jews of Nicaragua. If you can find any.
In May 1983, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization dealing with instances of anti-Semitism worldwide, issued a statement denouncing Sandinista Nicaragua as “a country without Jews, but not without anti-Semitism.”
What happened to those Jews caught in Bill de Blasio’s Democratic Socialist utopia? Read the State Department’s human rights survey.
In 1979 many of the country’s approximately 250 Jews fled abroad in the face of persecution and imprisonment by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). The FSLN bombed and partially destroyed the country’s only synagogue, then confiscated the property shortly afterward and converted it into a youth training camp. There is now a funeral home on the site. Some Jews have returned since the Sandinista Government was ousted democratically in 1990, but the total Jewish population of the country consists of fewer than 50 persons.
Or the ADL
Rosenthal, in an article prepared for publication in the ADL Bulletin, the agency’s publication, charged that along with the confiscation of Jewish property and forced exile of the Jewish community, the Sandinista government, which came to power in 1979, has been unresponsive to ADL appeals to end “these human rights violations” and permit the return of the Jews to their country. He wrote that the forced exodus of the Nicaraguan Jewish community was effected by subtle and direct threats or by forcible measures, two cases of which Rosenthal cited in the article.
And what was in that Barricada newspaper that Bill de Blasio loved so much?
At issue is an editorial in last Thursday’s edition of the government- control led newspaper ”Barricada” which tried to explain why the ”Yankee bureaucracy” has had difficulty in disbursing the money.
The editorial said there has been an ”excessive distrust” by the ”Yankees” toward the leading opposition coalition in Nicaragua and attributes this to the ”traditional ‘Jew-style’ with which the U.S. Congress manages the taxes of the taxpayers.”
One wonders what Bill de Blasio currently thinks of “traditional Jew-style” fiscal management. But it could have been worse.
The Managua daily, Nuevo Diario, July 1982, published a series of anti-Semitic articles which included a reference to the “synagogue of satan.”
And speaking of the synagogue…
Nicaragua’s only synagogue was sprayed with submachine-gun fire Friday night…
Jewish sources said two gunmen burst into the synagogue shouting, “We are Sandinistas!” and fired their weapons into the air. The guerrilas tried to set afire a can of gasoline near the door.
AP Dec 2, 1978
One Friday night, a group of Sandinistas went to the synagogue, where the Jewish community was conducting its traditional Shabbat services, with the intention of setting some automobiles afire. Caught up in the mob frenzy, a few of the rebels tossed their Molotov cocktails at the synagogue and the front entrance burst into flames.
The Jews rushed to the exit to see what was going on, but they found the entrance blocked with automobiles. “Death to the Jews,” shouted the guerrilas. “What Hitler started we will finish.”
And there were other slogans as well…
Mr. Levy said he, too, was at the synagogue when a firebomb was thrown against the outside doors and he recalls the terrified worshippers hearing shouts from outside of ”Jewish pigs” and ”Judaism and Somozaism are the same thing.’
Finally the president was arrested and the synagogue was seized.
Elena Gorn, 32 years old, who lives in Hollywood, Fla., said she remembered slogans reading ”Out with the Jews” and ”Death to the Zionists” painted on the walls of the only synagogue in Managua and elsewhere in the city.
She said her father-in-law, Abraham Gorn, the recognized leader of Nicaraguan Jews, was arrested soon after the takeover on what she said were trumped-up charges of tax evasion. Mr. Gorn, then 75, was ordered to sweep the streets while his jailers taunted him with anti-Semitic jokes, she said.
Rosenthal reported at the press conference that the ADL has charged that the synagogue in Managua has been turned into a children’s social club, the exterior Stars of David covered with propaganda posters and the inside wall of the sanctuary have been plastered with anti-Zionist posters.
After enough negative publicity, the regime offered to return the synagogue in the 80s, but by then there were hardly any Jews left.
“They gave a new definition to democracy,” Mr. de Blasio told The New York Times in 1990 in an article about the wistful reaction of American activists to the defeat of the Sandinistas.
Mr. de Blasio remained supportive of the Sandinistas, often referred to by their acronym, F.S.L.N., even after they lost power. “People who had shallow party sympathies with the F.S.L.N. pretty much dropped everything when they lost,” said Jane Guskin, a fellow activist in the solidarity group. “Bill wasn’t like that.”
To this day, he speaks admiringly of the Sandinistas’ campaign, noting advances in literacy and health care. “They had a youthful energy and idealism mixed with a human ability and practicality that was really inspirational,” he said.
After this, I wonder what could possibly lead a Jew to vote for a supporter of Anti-Semitic Marxist terrorists?