Bernie Sanders, Anti-Semite?

Bernie Sanders is a Jew, so to call him an anti-Semite is counterintuitive. But the principal form of anti-Semitism in our era is an obsession with, and hypocritical focus on, alleged misdeeds of Israel. Hundreds of thousands killed in Syria? Who cares? Human shields died in Gaza! You know the drill.

Alan Dershowitz worries that Sanders’ anti-Israel fixation will drag down the Democratic Party. That isn’t my concern, but Dershowitz makes some good points:

Sanders has demonstrated a consistent bias against the nation-state of the Jewish people and surrounded himself with foreign-policy “experts” who often describe Israel as an apartheid state, and have repeatedly accused the IDF of committing war crimes. Sanders has clearly absorbed some of this rhetoric, as demonstrated in a series of recent interviews, in which he grossly overstated the number of Palestinian civilian deaths in Operation Protective Edge, and accused Israel of using disproportionate force in response to Hamas’ rocket attacks. …

Rather than modify or moderate his positions on Israel, Sanders now seems intent on remolding the Democratic Party to reflect the views of his most radical anti-Israel (and anti-American)…

That’s a key point: scratch an anti-Israel obsessive, and you nearly always find an anti-American.

…supporters. Sanders apparently wants to use his newfound political clout to revise the language of the Democratic Party platform as regards the only true democracy in the Middle East.

Sanders claims that he wants Democrats to embrace a more “balanced approach” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but his appointment of James Zogby and Cornel West to the Democratic Platform Committee suggests anything but. Indeed, both Zogby and West are notorious for espousing policy positions that are extremely critical of Israel, and for using rhetoric that sometimes borders on anti-Semitic.

Much more at the link; Dershowitz has the goods on the blatant anti-Semite Cornel West, among other things.

Dershowitz has more faith in liberal Americans than I do:

It is up to centrist Democrats, who still represent a majority of the party, to resist this attempt, and to ensure that support for Israel remains a point of bipartisan consensus.

I seriously doubt whether “centrists” are a majority of Democrats. Of course, Dershowitz and I define the center a little differently. But I suspect that the large majority of Sandernistas, who thrill to Sanders’ promises of Venezuela-style socialism, are perfectly OK with Sanders’ anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-American–call it what you will–attitudes. Dershowitz isn’t wrong when he says that Sanders threatens the “bipartisan consensus” in favor of Israel, but it isn’t just Sanders: the Democratic Party as a whole is moving toward a repudiation of that consensus.

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