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May 1, 2016 7:00 am

Shame on Bernie Sanders

avatar by Mel Alexenberg

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Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, during a meeting with the editorial board of the New York Daily News. Photo: Screenshot.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, during a meeting with the editorial board of the New York Daily News. Photo: Screenshot.

Bernie Sanders is following in the footsteps of Judge Richard Goldstone — a Jew whose slanderous report issued by a UN kangaroo court irreparably harmed the state of Israel.

A Jew slandering his own people is infinitely more powerful than a non-Jew doing it. Those who hated Israel loved Goldstone.

Five years ago, when Goldstone’s libelous report was issued, my wife Miriam Benjamin and I were creating “Torah Tweets,” a project that showed how our life and current events reflected each week’s Torah portion.

The Torah portion Metzorah/Slanderer, which is read in synagogues on the Shabbat before Passover, proposes rehabilitation therapy for slanderers like Richard Goldstone and Bernie Sanders. This portion teaches us that slanderers undermine a free society by spreading lies that defame others.

The damage Goldstone’s falsehoods inflicted on Israel’s image and standing was beyond calculation. It made front page headlines. Buried on the inside pages of newspapers, a year and a half later, was the news that Goldstone had recanted his report. He admitted that charges that Israel deliberately killed civilians were blatant lies. But Goldstone’s slander, which had been etched in the public’s mind, could not be erased.

Professor Michael Oren reacted to Sander’s lies about Israel’s actions in Gaza by saying, “He accused us of a blood libel. He accused us of bombing hospitals. He accused us of killing 10,000 Palestinian civilians. Don’t you think that merits an apology?” When asked about Oren later on, Sanders said, “Who is Michael Oren?”

When CNN‘s Jake Trapper tried to correct Sanders, the senator just shrugged it off without expressing any regret that he had misinformed the public. Former US Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, along with many others, report that Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to limit civilian casualties in Gaza.

Sanders dared not face his fellow Jews at the AIPAC Conference and display his animosity towards Israel. His absence was conspicuous when presidential candidates Clinton, Cruz, Kasich, and Trump spoke there.

Sanders also chooses to ignore the US government designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization. Perhaps he should read the Hamas Charter, and learn of their genocidal aims: “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims…. Muslims will fight the Jews until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.”

Shame on Bernie Sanders.

Mel Alexenberg is author of Photograph God: Creating a Spiritual Blog of Your Life, professor emeritus of art and Jewish thought at Ariel University, former professor at Columbia University and Bar-Ilan University, and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

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  • Lawrence White

    I find it of great interest that all prior comments were critical of the article and its writer. The commentators remind me of all the anti-Israel Jews who, like Sanders, hide behind the rhetoric of human rights to condemn Israel.

    The article summarized the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attitudes (in almost all cases, these are the same people) of Senator Sanders. He originally chose as his liaison to the Jewish community a woman with a long and vicious anti-Israel bias. and makes common cause with far left zealots who never criticize China, Cuba, or North Korea for very real human rights violations, but reserve their anger for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East

    Sanders has clearly aligned himself with the far left cabal of angry Jews, jor whom Israel can never do anything good.

  • Jesse

    This interview is old news. Why are you dredging it up again? And how about you apologize to the Palestinians if we’re going to be demanding apologies? As one Jewish teacher said to another, you focus on the letter of a statement and ignore the spirit of it.

  • Ross

    This article is a Chillul Hashem. Bernie Sanders cares about people all over the world. He has no animosity towards Israel. He is a politician who is trying to defend an unpopular, yet intelligent way to handle a complex problem. It is a shame that there are so many Jews that look at the world through single-minded lenses. This world is too complex and beautiful for us to be constantly victimizing ourselves and putting down people who try to make a difference.

  • Dan

    Put a bird on it … And ensure sufficient food and water everyone on this earth, Jew Christian or whatever silly label you put on things ..

  • bjgeibel

    WOW, It won’t let you post anything negative.

  • Donald C Caron

    This article reminds me of a conversation I had a few years back with a thoughtful individual who had come across a Holocaust Denier and had been somewhat taken in by this person’s rhetoric. He rather enthusiastically informed me that there was a “preponderance of evidence” that fewer than a million Jews had been killed in the Holocaust, not the numbers reported by accepted history. I said to him, “If it were 100,00 Jews it is still an outrage of unacceptable magnitude, so your information is irrelevant.”
    I feel the same way about the situation in Gaza regarding the Palestinians and the numbers of avoidable deaths…deaths of people who had no direct connection to the attacks on Israel.
    No one, not the US, Israel or anyone else gets a free ticket on retribution. The US committed similar atrocities in its attacks on Iraq following the World Trade Center event. No degree of justifiable outrage warrants indiscriminate infliction of death or injury on innocent individuals. That is Bernie Sanders’ message and definitely one the world needs to embrace.

    • joe quellman

      this argument is pure cognitive dissonance based on the specious concept of “”indiscriminate” actions. for plausibility, more beef isnecessary beyond an unsupported talking point.

  • Use some legitimate evidence if you’re going to write an article next time! I didn’t learn anything!