Tuesday, September 17, 2019

By Daled Amos

One thing you can say about Bernie Sanders: He sure does have some unexpected friends and admirers.

Bernie Sanders and Farrakhan

Farrakhan was very clear in 2016 that he was not supporting Bernie Sanders.
You won't find him supporting Sanders for president now either.

And yet in 2016 Farrakhan went out of his way not to attack him as one of those "Satanic Jews".
According to Farrakhan, Bernie Sanders is one of those "decent" Jews:
"I have to say this about Mr. Sanders: he's a Jew, not a so-called Jew. He's trying to be decent..."




Bernie Sanders and Sharpton


'Nuff said.

Bernie Sanders and Ilhan Omar

Earlier this year, Omar attacked AIPAC and accused her Jewish fellow Congressmen of dual loyalty:


Bernie Sanders wasted no time. During a conference call hosted by James Zogby, founder of the Arab American Institute, Sanders confirmed that he had talked to Omar that night to give her his support.

Of course, it did not take long for Omar to again accuse Jews of dual loyalty:


But that did not dissuade Sanders. In June, Teen Vogue had a piece on how Bernie Sanders Teamed Up With Ilhan Omar and Pramila Jayapal on a Plan to Cancel All Student Loan Debt


Bernie Sanders and James Zogby


In Lovable Bernie Whacks Israel, Charles Krauthammer wrote in 2016 that
two of Sanders' appointments to the 15-member platform committee are so stunning. Professor Cornel West not only has called the Israeli prime minister a war criminal, but openly supports the BDS movement (boycott, divestment and sanctions), the most important attempt in the world to ostracize and delegitimize Israel.

West is joined on the committee by the longtime pro-Palestinian activist James Zogby. Together, reported The New York Times, they "vowed to upend what they see as the party's lopsided support of Israel." [emphasis added]

Actually, lopsided would an apt description of Zogby's defense of Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists.

In 2006, Zogby defended Hezbollah's use of human shield's:
Zogby: I've said from the beginning that [Hezbollah's] behavior was reckless and provocative. But Israel bears the responsibility. It's like saying what Mort is saying and what those who want to make that case is saying, the girl who wore the short skirt deserved to get raped--
James Taranto commented:
Zogby's claim that Hezbollah bears no responsibility for civilian casualties is outrageous, and his likening of Hezbollah to a rape victim is scandalously so.
Elder of Ziyon quotes this example and gives another, one of Zogby defending Yasir Arafat. In an interview with Paula Zahn on CNN:
ZAHN: Mr. Zogby, how much responsibility do you think Yasser Arafat should bear for the ongoing troubles in the Middle East?

ZOGBY: Well, listen, it's -- we live in a kind of an "Alice in Wonderland" world here, where Ariel Sharon is the man of peace and Arafat becomes the obstacle to peace. We've lionized one and demonized the other, and I simply don't think this picture is accurate. The man has flaws...
Imagine a world where Ariel Sharon removes every last Israeli from Gaza and gives it, along with the infrastructure intact, to Hamas while Arafat rejects Clinton's attempt to forge a peace deal -- this is the "Wonderland" Zogby inhabits. Arafat did not have flaws -- he was responsible for the deaths of unarmed civilians because they were Jews.

Bernie Sanders and Cornel West


Krauthammer writes about Cornel West:
West doesn't even pretend, as do some left-wing "peace" groups, to be opposing Israeli policy in order to save it from itself. He makes the simpler case that occupation is unconscionable oppression and that until Israel abandons it, Israel deserves to be treated like apartheid South Africa -- anathematized, cut off, made to bleed morally and economically.

Like Zogby, Cornel West, a BDS proponent, also makes excuses for Palestinian terrorism, writing that  the actions of Hamas “pale in the face of the US-supported Israeli slaughter of innocent civilians.” West once accused President Obama of being “most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want.”

Of course, Bernie Sanders is different.

Bernie Sanders and Linda Sarsour



Last weekend, Sanders made Sarsour his surrogate, allowing her to campaign on his behalf, creating a unique situation considering, as The Jerusalem Post put it, "that Sanders is Jewish and Sarsour is known as an anti-Israel, antisemitic activist."

Actually, what does he have to lose?
The Democrats have the Jewish vote anyway.

With Sarsour -- as with Simone Zimmerman before her -- Sanders can tap into the energy of progressives with minimal cost to a Jewish base which sided with Hillary anyway during the last election and is unlikely to flock to him this time around either. A poll in May showed Biden getting 47% of the Jewish vote among registered Democratic voters, compared to 11% for Sanders and Pete Buttigieg is doing better than either of them in terms of Jewish contributions.

Now we find out that 2 months ago, Sarsour -- along with Bob Bland and Tamika Mallory -- left the Woman's March.

This has been misinterpreted by some as a setback for Sarsour, and by extension, for Sanders:


If you check the article at The Hill, all it says is:
Women’s March has cut ties with three board members who were accused of anti-Semitism and has created a new, diverse board of 16 members
It does not actually say the reason for cutting ties was because of their antisemtism. The article in the Washington Post that The Hill refers to is more expansive on why Bland, Mallory and Sarsour left:
The Women’s March is replacing three inaugural board members who have been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism, infighting and financial mismanagement.
That article also ties the issue of antisemitism not to Sarsour but to Mallory, who is a big supporter of Farrakhan.

Seth Mandel, editor of the Washington Examiner, was more on-target -- both Women's March in general and Sarsour in particular win:


Whether Sanders will benefit by this arrangement is an open question.

But Sarsour definitely has.

Bernie Sanders and Zahra Billoo

Among those who will be replacing Sarsour is Zahra Billoo, a civil rights lawyer and the executive director of CAIR-SFBA.

She is also an antisemite.

As indicated by tweet


After tweet:


After tweet:


After tweet:


Check out Petra Marquardt-Bigman and Ryan Saavedra for many more such tweets.

And Billoo's hatred extends beyond just hatred of the state of Israel:
California imam Ahmed Billoo recently called for the mass extermination of Jews. Apparently impatient at the border-security protocols at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, he posted a prayer to Twitter with the hashtag "Zionists": "Oh God, reduce their numbers, exterminate them, and don't leave a single one alive."

Ahmed Billoo's sister is Zahra Billoo, director of the San Francisco branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). She is also an important figure in the Women's March movement, and has appeared alongside her brother at Women's March events.

...[Zahra Billoo] was curiously unwilling to offer any criticism when it came to her brother advocating mass-murder. On the contrary, Zahra Billoo made a heartfelt post to her brother on Facebook a mere few hours after he prayed for the extermination of Jews, apparently in relation to another public stand he had taken: "My brother makes me proud often, but there's a special kind of appreciation I have when he does this - puts his privilege to good use, asserting his rights, speaking out against border harassment, and thereby making it at least somewhat easier for those who are afraid or unable." [emphasis added]

And sure enough, Billoo is also a big fan of -- Bernie Sanders.


Bernie Sanders is a convenient shield for antisemites.

He is Jewish -- but does not advertise that fact.
Sanders rarely talks about it publicly.

He may support Israel, but he adopts the progressive narrative about the extent of Gazan casualties during war between Israel and Hamas, as well as the narrative that makes armed Gazan rioters trying to break through into Israel as nothing more than peaceful protestors.

Sanders is also on-board when it comes to condemning and leveraging aid in order to push Israel (and only Israel) to "make peace".

He boils the conflict down to the simplest terms:
Israel has a right to exist in security, and at the same time the Palestinians have a state of their own.
Who could argue with that?

To be fair, journalist Ron Kampeas finds Bernie Sanders to be typical of Jewish Americans:


Maybe Kampeas is right, and Sanders it typical.
But Sanders does come across as shy about his being a Jews and more defensive than most when it comes to Israel.

More to the point, I don't know if we can be so sanguine about this "norm" of Jewish American.
What really is so Jewish about being progressive?

Daniel Gordis writes that
most American Jews, having lost a sense of peoplehood and then a commitment to religion or Torah, have recently assumed an identity that is focused on little but politics. Yet as a form of politics, Judaism has, so far, found little to say that is uniquely Jewish.
Gordis concludes the thought rather darkly:
And if we have nothing unique to say, does it really matter if American Jews do not survive?
I would suggest that if we Jews in America cannot identify as Jews and feel unique as Jews, then there are those out there who will be only too happy to define our Jewish identity for their own purposes.

And the names of some of those people are on this page.





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