Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was born Jewish but who has attacked Israel for years, called anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Tuesday to offer his support, reportedly saying, “We will stand by our Muslim brothers and sisters."
Omar’s office confirmed that the congresswoman spoke with Sanders—who is Jewish—but the conversation was off-record and so they could not go into further details about the contents of the discussion. A source familiar with the conversation confirmed to The Daily Beast that Sanders expressed support for Omar.
The Daily Beast noted that Jewish Insider had stated Sanders had discussed Omar’s anti-Semitic tweets on a conference call hosted by James Zogby. The Daily Beast added, “Zogby told The Daily Beast the call was off-record when contacted about the veracity of the reporting, but the source familiar with the lawmakers’ conversation confirmed the Jewish Insider story.”
Sanders has frequently demonstrated his contempt for Israel as well as his support for anti-Semites. Witness his support for noted anti-Semite British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. As famed attorney Alan Dershowitz wrote:
Shame on Bernie Sanders. He campaigned for the British anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn, who received millions of votes from British citizens who care more about their pocketbooks than about combatting anti-Semitism. As exit polls trickled in, Sanders tweeted: “I am delighted to see Labour do so well. I congratulate @jeremycorbyn for running a very effective campaign.” There is no doubt that Corbyn and his Labour Party are at the very least tolerant of anti-Semitic rhetoric, if not peddlers of it.
Sanders’s support for this anti-Jewish bigot reminds me of the Jews who supported Stalin despite his overt anti-Semitism because they supported his communist agenda. Those who tolerate anti-Semitism argue that it is a question of priorities but even so, history proves that Sanders has his priorities wrong. No decent person should ever, under any circumstances, campaign for an anti-Semite.
In 2017, Sanders referred to the “occupation” that Israel had foisted on the “Palestinian territories,” saying, “its daily restrictions on the political and civil liberties of the Palestinian people runs contrary to fundamental American values,” and adding, “Like our own country, the founding of Israel involved the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people already living there, the Palestinian people. Over 700,000 people were made refugees.”
(For an actual fact-based analysis of the founding of Israel and exactly how many Palestinians actually came from land other than Israel, see “From Time Immemorial,” by Joan Peters.)
In June 2017, Sanders, in a video message to the hard-left Israeli Meretz party to mark the end of the Six Day War in 1967, stated, “We are now in the 50th year of Israel’s occupation, an occupation which denies basic Palestinian rights while failing to deliver Israel real security … I know so many of you agree with me when I say: this occupation must end.”
In 2016, Sanders told The New York Daily News the massive lie that Israel had killed 10,000 people in the 2014 Gaza war, later admitting he did not know the exact number.
In June 2016, Michael Laitman wrote in The Jerusalem Post:
We did not need Bernie Sanders’ pick of BDS backer and Israel basher, Cornel West, to partake in writing the Democratic platform, to know how he feels about Israel. Back in May of 1985, when Sanders was still mayor of Burlington, VT, he invited fellow (Jewish) Israel critic, Noam Chomsky, to give a town hall speech. Sanders did not protest when Chomsky nonchalantly stated that Israel “doesn’t want a political settlement” in the Middle-East, or when he asserted that Israel served as a “surrogate” murderer for the US and carried out mass killings “in Africa, Asia, and primarily Latin America,” where, according to Chomsky, Israel massacred “thousands, if not tens of thousands of people” in Nicaragua.