The Bernie Sanders campaign is doing really well with hipsters who hate Israel. But there are two groups it just can't seem to crack. Black people and Jews.
The train didn't start going all the way off the rails until the campaign arrived in New York where it was embraced by the Hate Israel crowd and rejected by actual Jewish communities. After Bernie Sanders lied and accused Israel of killing 10,000 "innocent people", even his Jewish supporters headed for the exits.
It certainly didn't help that Jews for Bernie was run by Daniel Sieradski, an anti-Israel activist who distributed a meme during the last war with Hamas which claimed that "That's why Palestinians are fighting back." Or who claimed that, "Great insight is to be gained from the remarks of Hamas’ founder, Sheikh Ahemd Yassin, himself, which are much more down-to-earth and pragmatic than any portrayal of Hamas in the right-wing oriented media."
Instead of distancing himself from Daniel Sieradski. Bernie Sanders met with him.
And then the Bernie Sanders campaign decided to bring on board Simone Zimmerman, a BDS supporter and anti-Israel activist in If Not Now, a J Street front group harassing Jewish charities who help people in Israel, as its Jewish Outreach Director.
Simone Zimmerman appears to have gotten in bed with JVP, a militantly anti-Semitic organization which views the Jewish community as "the enemy" and has defended terrorism against Jews. Simone Zimmerman has joined the JVP hate group in condemning attempts to fight campus anti-Semitism. In response to Hamas attacks on Israel, Simone Zimmerman said, “We think it’s important to understand the context of occupation". And declared that she opposed the campaign against Hamas that began after the brutal murder of three Jewish teens by Hamas terrorists.
Meanwhile, across the room, an activist exchanged vitriol with the campaign’s newly hired national Jewish outreach coordinator, Simone Zimmerman, after demanding accountability for the campaign’s failures on the Jewish front.
And the outrage is mounting.
@SenSanders lost me and so many others with Simone Zimmerman as his national Jewish outreach coordinator. What the **** was he thinking?— Becky Griffin (@dorothyofisrael) April 13, 2016
Ok, @BernieSanders, you've completely lost me with your appointment of Simone Zimmerman as as Jewish Outreach Coordinator. I'm done.— Harry (@HarryR) April 13, 2016
Kinda digging how Bernie handling perception he's anti-Israel. Hired a Jewish outreach director who's a professional anti-Israel activist.— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) April 12, 2016
Sanders Doubles Down on anti-Israelism:, Hires BDS and Jewish Voice for Peace advocate Simone Zimmerman https://t.co/5ibR5MMErQ— Jerry Gordon (@jerryg38) April 13, 2016
Edward Said must be so proud https://t.co/Lzu3LVRWBF— Becky Griffin (@dorothyofisrael) April 12, 2016
But Bernie Sanders has made his contempt for Jews and the Jewish community. This is one more sign of it.
And Simone Zimmerman is happy to tweet anti-Israel slogans and staged Bernie Sanders photos but doesn't seem to want to interact with actual Jews.
After my original post on Simone Zimmerman came out, Uriel Heilman of the JTA rushed to write up a puff piece whitewashing her. But the only extraordinary thing about his misleading claims was that Zimmerman apparently refused to cooperate with it.
After defending Zimmerman's backing for JVP, a group which goes beyond BDS to viewing the Jewish community as the "enemy" and defending terrorist attacks on Israelis as "resistance", Uriel Heilman is forced to include the disclaimer, "Zimmerman declined JTA’s requests to be interviewed for this story."
On Twitter, she redirected a request from Ariel Cohen of the DC Examiner to the Bernie Sanders press office. And it goes without saying that she refused to even confirm her new job to me.
What do we all have in common? We're all Jews. I suppose that makes us "the enemy". Or close enough to it.
What kind of campaign has a Jewish Outreach Director that won't actually talk to Jews? The Bernie Sanders campaign.