Bernie Sanders Is Both a Victim and an Enabler of Anti-Semitism

March 12, 2020 | Jonathan Tobin
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At a rally last week for the senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a man unfurled a flag bearing a swastika and began shouting anti-Semitic slurs, in what was unmistakably an attack targeted at the first Jew to be a serious contender for the presidential nomination of a major American political party. None of that, writes, Jonathan Tobin, changes the fact that Sanders has cultivated a coterie of anti-Semitic supporters, advisers, and surrogates, not limited to Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar:

[Senator Sanders’s] campaign manager Faiz Shakir is, [like the two congresswomen, a] supporter of the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). Given that Sanders often says that he is a supporter of Israel, but merely a critic of its government, it’s hard to understand why he would give such a senior position to someone clearly opposed to Israel’s existence.

Recently, the Sanders campaign also hired Phillip Agnew, another virulent BDS backer who has engaged in repeated slanders of Israel and who is a promoter of a school curriculum that calls for the Jewish state’s elimination and that supports terrorist groups seeking to make that nightmare a reality.

The former Women’s March leader and Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour is also a Sanders campaign surrogate, despite her long history of anti-Semitic utterances and her willingness to make common cause with supporters of the hatemonger and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Another Sanders surrogate is Amer Zahr, a BDS supporter who has engaged in repeated slurs of Jews and Israel.

Bernie Sanders doesn’t seem capable of [denouncing anti-Semitism when it comes from the political left]. Even worse, he provides cover to Jew-haters who can boast they are advocating for the election of a Jewish president even as they engage in anti-Semitic hate and work for Israel’s destruction.

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