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Opinion Mar 1, 2020 1:10 AM EST

It’s hard to answer the question: ‘Is Bernie Sanders an anti-Semite?’

Bernie Sanders has turned his back on his Jewish heritage and his political ideology is one that attracts many anti-Semites.

It’s hard to answer the question: ‘Is Bernie Sanders an anti-Semite?’
Ari Hoffman Seattle, WA

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

“Do you think Bernie Sanders is an anti Semite?”

As the token Jewish guy in Seattle’s political arena I get asked that often by people across the political spectrum.

A Jew can be anything a non-Jew can be; a bigot, a racist, even a self-hating Jew. There isn’t a minority pass on hatred just because you are one. That is the fundamental flaw with “intersectionality”.

Intersectionality is defined as: the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. To translate that nonsensical word salad for you, the more minority or “oppressed peoples” boxes you can check the more value you have to the left. However, being a member of a “protected class” does not mean you don’t attack other ethnic groups. Sanders is a 78 year old white guy, what the left claims to want to get rid of in favor of more ethnic representation. If Sanders can check that “Jewish box” he not only gets to claim minority status but can also deflect the frequent accusations of anti Semitism against his campaign.

A joke that is making the rounds: What is the difference between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump? Trump has Jewish grand kids. In 2016 Sanders told the Washington Post, “I am not actively involved with organized religion.” He went to the Soviet Union and praised its government while Jews were being persecuted behind the Iron Curtain and desperate to escape. Yet now that his anti-Semitic campaign staff and surrogates are in the spotlight, Sanders has started falling back on his heritage.

Sanders embraces Socialism and Communism, both have always ended badly for the Jews (and everyone else). This week, Sanders posted that he would not attend the annual American Israel Political Action Committee(AIPAC) conference, which has, until the Democrat party has lurched to the far left, enjoyed bi-partisan support. Sanders tweeted that AIPAC is “for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.” Sanders seems to be out of touch with the majority of American Jews who year after year have over a 70 percent favorable opinion of Israel support Israel.

Even in the Arab world, Israeli Arabs would prefer to be Israeli citizens than be citizens of a Palestinian State. Sanders is part of a tiny segment of  cultural Jews that embraces radical ideology that has been historically dangerous to the Jewish people. Socialism and communism throughout history have always attracted anti-Semites, which is likely why so many of them have aligned with the Sanders campaign

As a socialist, Sanders, his surrogates and allies opposition to Israel is hypocritical given that Israel was founded as a socialist country. According to American Enterprise Institute scholar Joseph Light, most early Israeli settlers, worked either on collective farms called kibbutzim or in state-guaranteed jobs. Kibbutzim were small farming communities in which people did chores in exchange for food and money to live on and pay their bills. There was no private property, people ate in common, and children under 18 lived together and not with their parents. Any money earned on the outside was given to the kibbutz. Interestingly, Sanders who is known to have lived and worked on a kibbutz in the 1960s avoids naming the kibbutz he worked on and telling stories from that period of his life. Perhaps talking about it reminds him that Israel’s economy has grown exponentially from the transition to a free market economy since its socialist economy collapsed in 1983 and is a prime example of the failures of Socialism.

Last week, while my wife and I were visiting Israel for a wedding, a friend invited us to a campaign rally for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. There were many speakers from Israel’s Likud party as well as Governor Mike Huckabee, all of which praised President Trump as the most pro-Israel president in history. Some of the speakers discussed the success and miraculous growth of the Israeli economy because of the switch from socialism to the free market. Netanyahu himself echoed many of these thoughts and ideas. He arrived two hours late because he was dealing with dozens of rockets being launched into southern Israel from Gaza. That is the life of an Israeli.

Upon returning from Israel, I was informed of yet another in a long line of anti-Israel documentaries being screened in Seattle. The screenings are being organized by Seattle socialists who support Sanders. When I reached out to the theater for comment, I was quickly disconnected from the manager. Assuming it was unintentional, I called back and connected to one of the organizers who answered the phone knowing it would be me. He told me that he runs a podcast where I am a frequent topic of conversation. I mentioned it was entertaining knowing how much rent space I take up in his head, which he did not appreciate.

He laughed and mocked me through all my questions and when I pushed back on his outrageous claims of Israel being an Apartheid state (Arab citizens in Israel can vote, are members of the Kenesset, Supreme Court justices, and can serve in the army, so Israel really sucks at apartheid). The responses to all my questions were “…Oh, come on, you know the truth” and laughter. I continued to push back on their claims of Gaza being an open air prison by demonstrating that many Palestinians work in Israel at Israeli companies like Soda Stream and come and go across the border, but the mocking continued. As usual, those who align with socialism embrace anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tropes. The defining moment of the conversation was when I asked this person if he had ever been to Israel, to which he replied, “No, but have you ever been to Gaza?” I answered “No, because as a Jew I would be executed or imprisoned for going there because Jews are not allowed in Gaza.”

Sanders and his Socialist supporters, fail to discuss the rocket attacks on Israeli civilians from Hamas controlled Gaza and the corruption of the elected officials of the Palestinian Authority, who have received billions of dollars in aid from around the world, and yet those funds are never used to address the deplorable living conditions of Palestinians living under their rule. Bernie Sanders is as Jewish as I am, but he has turned against our shared heritage and history. Sanders allies with people who wish our co-religionists harm, in order to win elections. If Sanders does end up becoming the Democrat nominee, many Jews will likely end up supporting President Trump or staying home. Though at two percent of the population, we won’t have a major effect on the election. We will just be the canaries in the coal mine sounding the alarm for the rest of the country.

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