Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Bernie Sanders started out by running against Wall Street. These days he’s running against Israel.
Running against Wall Street was hard. The Sanders campaign had to produce actual numbers. Americans were shocked to learn the higher taxes they would be facing in the People’s Republic of Bernie. Prominent economists on the left and the right tore his economic plans to shreds. The Sandernistas responded by touting the support of the country’s most prominent Marxist economist, the son of the Rosenberg Stalinist atom bomb traitors and an instructor at Chemeketa Community College.
Bashing Israel is a lot easier and appeals to the same conspiratorial bigoted contingent of the left.
And the facts don’t matter.
Bernie Sanders lied and claimed that Israel had killed 10,000 innocent people in Gaza. That statement was false in every possible way. As Mary McCarthy said of Lillian Hellman, “every word… is a lie including the ‘and’ and ‘the’.” But the Sanders base, which had gleefully eaten up his conspiracy theories about Goldman Sachs, loved every minute of it.
Like the Manchurian Candidate’s Senator Iselin, Senator Sanders gleefully threw around false numbers in the fashion of a cheap bigoted demagogue knowing that the resulting debate would not be about whether Israel had killed innocent people in Gaza, but how many innocent people it had killed in Gaza.
Bernie’s ugly pandering to left-wing anti-Semitic bigots lost him the Jewish vote from Massachusetts to New York. By the time he got to New York, polls showed that Catholics were more likely to vote for the “son of a Polish immigrant” than Jews. And that was before he appointed radical anti-Israel activist Simone Zimmerman, from anti-Israel hate group If Not Now, as his Jewish outreach coordinator.
But with each defeat, Bernie Sanders pandered even harder to his anti-Semitic left-wing base. In Arizona, he had a member of the Students for Justice in Palestine hate group standing next to him on stage. SJP has become notorious for its publication of anti-Semitic materials and harassment of Jewish students on campus. He lost Arizona, 57% to 39%. After his slander of Israel, he lost New York 58% to 42%. Trailing in the race for the nomination, he is doubling down on his war on the Jewish State.
Bernie Sanders has a long history of pandering to anti-Semitic leftists. He endorsed Jesse Jackson despite his Hymietown slur. He has campaigned with Harry Belafonte, who had claimed that "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich" and Spike Lee who had responded to criticism of anti-Semitic stereotypes in his movies by saying that he “couldn’t make an anti-Semitic film” because Jews run Hollywood. He met with Sharpton who had jeered, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Sanders had nothing to pin back and happily came.
Now he’s pushing some of his favorite haters of Israel in on the Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee.
The Sanders Democratic dream team includes Cornel West, who flirted with 9/11 Trutherism and is an opponent of Israel, and James Zogby, who had defended Hamas and Hezbollah. West claimed that anti-Semitic hate group leader Louis Farrakhan “always pushes me in a powerful way.” Farrakhan had claimed that “Satanic Jews… control everything and everybody.” That’s certainly powerful.
Zogby had referred to Israel as Nazis, compared the Lebanon War to the Holocaust and described Iran’s anti-Semitic Hezbollah terrorists as "the Lebanese armed resistance." The boss of this “Lebanese armed resistance” has stated that, “If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”
It’s unclear whether he would be willing to exempt Senator Sanders from that worldwide purge. Or from his claim that, “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew.”
But Bernie Sanders put Cornel West and James Zogby into place in order to push the Democratic platform into anti-Israel territory. The official word is that the platform will introduce more “balance” between the Jews and the various “armed resistance” movements trying to kill them.
The balance of this ideological seesaw will be tilting toward the terrorists and away from their Jewish victims. But that’s because Bernie Sanders has his finger on the pulse of his hateful base.
Bernie Sanders supporters are the only group of backers for any of the candidates in the race who are more likely to support the terrorists over Israel. And as Sanders has focused more on bashing Israel, their bigotry is only likely to grow.
Bernie Sanders has conducted almost no outreach to Jews. Instead his campaign has focused heavily on bringing in hateful Muslim figures such as Linda Sarsour, who described throwing stones at Jews as “the definition of courage”, and CAIR’s Zahra Billoo, who compared Israel to ISIS. Even more than Obama, Bernie Sanders is surrounded by hateful figures who despise America and Israel. And who have the notorious weakness of political radicals for conspiracy theories, especially those involving Jews.
The Sanders campaign is deeply rotten. It has come to exemplify the worst of the left. Every setback has pushed it only further to the left until its ideas of “authenticity” and “principle” have become extremism and bigotry. It is time for decent Democrats to repudiate the bigotry that the Sanders campaign has stirred up. While supporters will insist that Bernie Sanders can’t be pandering to anti-Semites because this son of a “Polish immigrant” is of Jewish ancestry, there has been a pattern of such behavior.
Sanders’ ancestry has not prevented the Socialist from Vermont to pandering to the bigotry against Jews that has been described as the “Socialism of Fools”. His smears and slanders have made that all too obvious.
When at one of his events, a questioner claimed that “Zionist Jews” run the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, Bernie Sanders did not denounce his bigotry. Instead he criticized Israel.
That sad moment embodied what Bernie Sanders had become. A fading radical desperately pandering to left-wing bigots. His campaign against Israel channels the conspiratorial mindset of the Occupy Wall Street demographic and the obsession of the left with “Zionist Jews” and banks.
Even while Bernie limits any mention of his Jewish ancestry to ritualistic invocations of Nazism, he is pandering to militant Socialists whose own obsessions with “Zionist Jews” are ominously similar to those of the National Socialists.