This is really pathetic. It’s not just the words, but the context that matters.
A Harlem man demanded Sen. Bernie Sanders explain his relationship “with your Jewish community” at an event at the iconic Apollo Theater today.
“You went to Israel for a year. As you know, Zionist Jews—I don’t mean to offend anybody—they running the Federal Reserve, they running Wall Street, they’re running everything,” John Prince, who came to the event wearing a Black Lives Matter pin, yelled. “What is your relationship with your Jewish community?”
So Bernie Sanders responded to that by saying, “I’m proud to be Jewish”. That got applauded. And that was nice.
Then he pivoted to… “I may be Jewish, but you’re not going to find any candidate running for president, for example, to talk about Zionism and the Middle East.”
That was followed by talking points on the need to treat both Israel and the “Palestinians” with equality and how there are bad people and good people on both sides.
Not exceptional out of context, but in context, Sanders had just listened to an anti-Semitic rant about “Zionist Jews”. So his response was to distance himself from the “Zionist” part. And that was disgusting. The protester clearly wasn’t talking about Israel. He was using Zionist in a generic anti-Semitic context. Sanders got applauded when he said that he was proud to be Jewish. He could have denounced anti-Semitism the way he scores points denouncing other forms of bigotry, including Islamophobia.
But Bernie Sanders didn’t talk about anti-Semitism. Instead he used the opportunity to distance himself from accusation of Zionism by talking about “equality” for both sides. And that was pathetic and cowardly.