Bernie Sanders is the Worst U.S. Presidential Candidate for Israel Ever

On April 19, 2016, the people of the State of New York vote in presidential primaries. The U.S. state with the greatest number of Jews has the opportunity to vote in presidential primaries where a Jew is running on a major ticket for the very first time.

Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders

Remarkably, the Jewish candidate is  – by far – the most aggressive and confrontational in his views of the Jewish State:

These positions are actually held by other left-wing groups who consider themselves pro-Israel, as does Sanders. J Street (the home of Sanders’ Jewish outreach person) has even proposed that the United States begin punishing Israel at the United Nations Security Council, where the US is often the sole vote that prevents Israel from being subject to many biased laws. How’s that for pro-Israel?

J Street and Sanders still like to use the term “pro-Israel” in their tagline as they believe that Israel has the right to exist. Maybe they should consider the fact that most people think Peru should exist too, but don’t brand themselves as “pro-Peru.”  A “pro-Peru” person would presumably not call for boycotting Peru’s goods or sanctioning it at the UN. Approving a country’s existence does not grant bona fides.

Radical left-wing people and groups like Bernie Sanders, Jewish Voice for Peace, Neturei Karta and J Street use their Jewishness as a red herring for their anti-Israel blood libels.  If they were not Jewish and held these positions and made these statements, people would call them out as “anti-Israel” easily and immediately.

The Democrats have been moving away from Israel since Barack Obama was elected to office in 2008. The relationship blew up in full in 2012, when the Democrats opted to remove the long-standing pro-Israel positions in the party’s platform including:

  • No longer stating that the US will isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism
  • No longer called for the Palestinian “refugees” to be settled in a new country of Palestine rather than Israel
  • No longer stating that it is unrealistic to expect the border contours to follow the 1949 Armistice Lines
  • Barely approved recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

The Democratic party moved away from Israel these past eight years, and the radical socialist-wing of the party has moved it further still. (And this is while Sanders’ running for the office of president. One can only imagine how much more aggressive he would be if he actually won the office.)

The anti-Israel wing of the Democratic party has a champion.  How many people will embrace him?

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Sanders Accuses Israel of Deliberately Killing Palestinians

In April 2016, Democratic candidates for president Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated before the primary contest in New York.  During the debate, Sanders described Israel’s fight against Palestinians in Gaza were “disproportionate.”  In actuality, it was Sanders’ discussion of the war that was disproportionate.

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Sanders talking to the New York Daily News April 2016
(photo: Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News)

Discussion of 2014 Hamas War

Disproportionate Attack  Sanders said that Israel’s actions were a disproportionate attack.  Calling the operation an “attack” made it seem that Israel was on the offensive, rather than the defensive. It was Hamas that kidnapped and murdered three teenagers.  It was Hamas that dug dozens of tunnels into Israel to abduct more Israelis.  It was Hamas that fired thousands of rockets into Israeli civilian towns. Israel reacted to Hamas in a defensive battle.

Over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza.”  Many people reacted strongly to Sanders’ gross overestimation of the number of Palestinians killed.  That is only half of the problem.  While the number of killed was closer to 1,500, half of those killed were terrorists firing into Israeli civilian areas, not “innocent people.”

The attacks against Gaza were indiscriminate and that a lot of innocent people were killed.”   Sanders said that Israel’s action showed a willful disregard for life by firing against Palestinians in an indiscriminate manner.  He made no mention of Israel’s dropping leaflets on neighborhoods and calling people to evacuate areas that were going to be fired upon.  Such selectivity of memory underlines a bias in approach.

Discussion of America’s War on Terror

Sanders supporters think that he is against all war, and Sanders likes to repeat often that he voted against the war in Iraq to underscore that image.  To view Sanders views more broadly and compare those comments to Israel’s war on terror shows deeper flaws in Sanders thinking.  In truth, Sanders was in favor of bombing Kosovo, supports destroying ISIS, and voted to fund America’s war in Afghanistan.

Regarding America’s killing of civilians in those wars, Sanders said the following:

“When bombing wedding parties of innocent people and killing dozens of them, that is, needless to say, not effective and enormously counterproductive.”

Sanders comment that America’s bombing of a wedding party (done several times in the War on Terror) is “not effective” and “counterproductive” falls pretty short of the condemnation that he used for Israel’s “indiscriminate” “attacks” against “innocent civilians.”  Why doesn’t Sanders similarly say that when Israel kills bystanders it is “not effective?”


Sanders clearly declared that Israel has every right to defend itself and combat terrorism when he stated that “I believe 100% not only in Israel’s right to exist, a right to exist in peace and security without having to face terrorist attacks.”  He further feels that Hamas is wrong in its approach to Israel and should be condemned “I strongly object to Hamas’ long held position that Israel does not have the right to exist – that is unacceptable. Of course, I strongly condemn indiscriminate rocket fire by Hamas into Israeli territory, and Hamas’ use of civilian neighborhoods to launch those attacks.

So are his arguments only meant that Israel should be more targeted in killing terrorists?

No.  If that were the case, he would use language that is more similar to how he described America’s killing of innocents.  His language of “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate” is meant to convey that Israel DELIBERATELY used too much force against Hamas.

Sanders does not believe that Israel is just defending itself from terrorism, he believes that Israel is deliberately trying to kill Palestinians.

Disproportionate Defense and Equivalence of Intent

As detailed in “The Disproportionate Defenses of Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” the disproportionate figure in the number of Palestinians and Israelis killed in the 2014 Gaza War had to do with the disproportionate DEFENSES of the two parties.  Israel used its Iron Dome defensive shield and bomb shelters throughout the country to minimize casualties on the Israeli side.  Without those defenses, the number of casualties on both sides would have been much closer.

Further, as described in “Pray for a Lack of “Proportionately” in Numbers. There will never be an Equivalence of Intent” the Hamas Charter, leaders and actions make abundantly clear their desire to kill Jews and destroy Israel.  Israel has no such desires to attack Arabs.  It accepted every ceasefire during the Gaza War while Hamas refused.

The objections of Israeli supporters about the comments of Bernie Sanders have little to do with his uninformed comments about the tally of dead in the Gaza War.  It has everything to do with Sanders’ gross mischaracterization of the Israeli Defense Force as indiscriminate killers.

Related First.One.Through articles:

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

Missing Netanyahu’s Speech: Those not Listening and Those Not Speaking

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Opinion: Remove the Causefire before a Ceasefire

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The Arab Middle East Makes Refugees, They Don’t Help Them

The Middle East is producing refugees in great numbers, as the civil wars in Syria and Sudan drag on, ISIS takes over large swathes of Iraq, and Libya and Yemen deteriorate into failed states.

The refugees are being welcomed into various western countries including Germany, Sweden and Canada. Just recently, Canada changed its laws under its new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to facilitate refugees becoming citizens.

In the Arab Middle East, only Jordan has opened its doors to fellow Muslim Arabs. The Islamic country of Turkey is not Arab, and prefers to act as a way station to refugees in transit to Europe.  The vast Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not opened its doors. The rich states of Oman, Qatar and Kuwait have done nothing.

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Syrian refugees in Jordan

There is a long history of the Muslim Arab Middle East creating refugees, but not welcoming them.

  • In 1991, after the Palestinians supported Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in his takeover of Kuwait, the Kuwaitis expelled over 300,000 Palestinians. Goodbye.
  • In 1967, after the Egyptians and Syrians threatened to destroy Israel, but ended up losing the war, the countries did not welcome any Arabs from the region into their countries as new citizens.
  • In 1948-9, when the Arab countries surrounding Israel launched an attack to destroy the Jewish State, but failed to do so and consequently helped create 711,000 Arab refugees, they let the people suffer.  While the Syrian government allowed the United Nations to establish refugee camps for the Palestinian Arab refugees inside Syria, it never allowed those refugees or their descendants to obtain work permits to get professional jobs.

And so it continues to this day. While the Islamic State dreams of building a unified caliphate to unite the Muslims of the Middle East, the established monarchies continue to do their utmost to cement divisions.

The Muslim Middle East today is divided between the genocidal jihadists of ISIS who seek Muslim unity by killing anyone not like themselves, and the corrupt, racist monarchies that do nothing to promote unity.

Will the Muslims that flee the insanity of the region adopt western values of tolerance, or will they bring one of these brands of barbarism to the western world?

Related First.One.Through articles:

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Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

Considering a Failed Palestinian State

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

A Flower in Terra Barbarus

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An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

Liberal presidential candidate Bernie Sanders may say that he is a proud Jew, but he is the only person among the five major candidates still running for president, that continues to attack Israel for defending itself against Palestinian Arabs that are sworn to the country’s destruction.

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
(picture: Dan Tuohy, Union Leader)

On April 9, 2016, Sanders spoke to an audience in Harlem, New York that asked a series of anti-Semitic questions of him.  As Daniel Greenfield noted about Sanders’ response to this anti-Semite’s invective about “Zionist Jews” who “control the media”, the liberal candidate made no attempt to denounce the vile anti-Jewish comments. Instead, he protested his bona fides about being uniquely critical of Israel.

Just one month ago, Ryan Grim, the Washington bureau chief for the liberal media spot The Huffington Post, wrote an article called “An Open Letter to Non-Racist Donald Trump Supporters” asking Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s supporters to distance themselves from the kind of people that attend Trump rallies. He wrote:

You may not physically assault anti-Trump protesters, think Abraham Lincoln’s decision to free enslaved African-Americans was hasty or want immigrants immediately deported. But you know as well as we do that a portion of Trump’s fans do feel this way.

It may not be fair, but it has fallen to you to disavow these people. Your silence is condoning a violent environment. You’re serving as a welcoming committee of sorts to new racists hoping to enter the party. From a crass political perspective, it’s self-defeating: You will never win a national election on a ticket with the Klan. But it matters from a moral perspective, too. “

Liberals, it is time for you to take your own advice and “disavow” the anti-Semites and other liberals that seek the destruction of Israel at rallies for your liberal candidate.

Related First.One.Through articles:

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The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

The Candidates Feed the Pro-Israel Community’s Fears and Aspirations

What’s “Left” for The New York Times?

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Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that America needs to be “very vigilant” in scrutinizing Muslims regarding matters of security, as it is difficult to separate Islam from radical Islam.  He told CNN that Americans “have to be very careful. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States… There’s a sickness going on and you have to get to the bottom of it.

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Donald Trump on CNN March 2016

For her part, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that America must “empower our Muslim-American communities, who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization.”

Are the two positions as far apart as they seem?

Republican Scrutiny

Trump has been accused of being an “Islamaphobe” for his position about Muslims and Islam. His call to place a temporary ban on all Muslims applying to enter the United States was roundly criticized by all of the other presidential candidates.  Trump argued that America needed more information and better background checks on people that might pose a threat to the country because “Islam hates us.“.

Before Trump made his comments, in September 2015, the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a report about jihadist operations in the U.S. Among the major takeaways of the report were:

  • “The jihadist threat in the U.S. homeland is high and has escalated dramatically this year
  • ISIS is fueling the Islamist terror wildfire across the globe at unprecedented speed
  • Islamist terrorists are intent on killing American law enforcement and military personnel, in addition to innocent civilians”

The report went on to highlight that the state with the highest number of potential jihadists – by a far margin – was Minnesota, at 26% of the total sample set. The report included a sample story about the growing threat of jihadists: “Abdi Nur, only 20-years old when he left Minnesota for Syria last year, is a prime example. Once in the conflict zone, he spent months persuading his friends in Minneapolis to join him.  His peer-to-peer recruiting nearly worked, as six of his friends attempted to leave the United States for Syria; they were arrested by the FBI this April.

The newspaper Star Tribune wrote about a Republican reaction to the report: “Republican Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and long a hawkish critic of the Obama administration, said the report proves “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.” Kline said it also demonstrates the Obama administration “does not have a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS and Islamist terrorists.”

Ami Horowitz, a freelance reporter who often produces stories for Fox News, conducted several interviews in May 2015 with Somali Muslim Americans in Minnesota. In his interviews, seen here, Muslim Americans said they were happy and felt welcomed in America.  Yet despite those feelings, the Muslims would prefer to live in Somalia, not America. They further believed, that elements of sharia law, such as using the death penalty for anyone that insulted their prophet, should be practiced in the US.

Republicans like Kline and Trump directly pointed to “homegrown terrorism” stemming from the Muslim community.  They called for greater scrutiny of those communities to better protect Americans.

The Democrats seemingly suggested a different tactic.

Democratic Empowerment

The liberal senator from Minnesota had a very different reaction to the September House report of jihadists in his state.  The Star Tribune wrote: “In Washington, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn, said the report “only underscores the urgent need for adequate resources to fight terrorist recruitment.” He noted the need to build stronger community outreach programs while refraining from stereotyping. “It’s important that we don’t indiscriminately target members of one community,” he said.”

Just months later, in December 2015, Hillary Clinton addressed a crowd in Minnesota about how to defeat ISIS.  One of her points addressed Muslims in America, where her “strategy is empowering Muslim-American communities who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization.  There are millions of peace-loving Muslims living, working, raising families, and paying taxes in our country.  These Americans may be our first, last, and best defense against home grown radicalization and terrorism.  They are the most likely to recognize the insidious effects of radicalization before it’s too late, intervene to help set a young person straight.  They are the best positioned to block anything going forward.

That’s why law enforcement has worked so hard since 9/11 to build up trust and strong relationships within Muslim-American communities.  Here in the Twin Cities, you have an innovative partnership that brings together parents, teachers, imams, and others in the Somali-American community with law enforcement, non-profits, local businesses, mental health professionals and others to intervene with young people who are at risk.

It’s called the Building Community Resilience Pilot Program, and it deserves increased support.  It has not gotten the financial resources that it needs to do everything the people involved in it know they can do.  And we’ve got to do a better job of supporting it.

Democrats like Clinton and Franken suggested the solution to dealing with homegrown jihadists is to “empower” that same community that Republicans sought to scrutinize.  Their approaches were seemingly polar opposites.

Ignorance and Analysis

In reality, the concerns of jihadist terrorism for Republicans and Democrats are much the same.  Republicans feel that the entire Muslim community should be scrutinized as they are not confident in being able to distinguish between the “good” and “bad.”  The Democrats want to embrace the good, and get them to both reform and squeal on the “bad.”

Both the Republicans and Democrats advocate intelligence gathering.  Clinton wants to use people from within the Muslim community to do the work, while Trump lacks confidence in relying on the community for America’s safety.

Where Trump and Clinton divide is in their basic thoughts about Islam.  Trump seemingly believes that Islam is inherently intolerant of western values, so the peaceful Muslims are doing so in spite of their religion.  Clinton believes that there is nothing inherently anti-American about Islam, and there are just a small percentage of violent jihadists in the community.

In the end, both Trump and Clinton want to root out homegrown Islamic radicals.  Trump just wants to use law enforcement to handle the task and believes that Clinton’s approach allows the fox to guard the hen house.

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Purim 5776/ 2016 Poem

Over the past few decades, there has been a growing trend in many Jewish communities to enhance the tradition of shaloch manot, sending gifts to their friends and neighbors on Purim.  The enhancement comes in the form of creating a “theme” for the gifts of food and candy, and including a poem.

This year, 5776 in the Jewish calendar and 2016 in the secular calendar, had various people using themes that included the US presidential race; recent movies; and popular singers.  Here is mine, that celebrated the infrequent occurrence of enjoying a leap year in both calendars.

How often is there a combined leap year
In both solar and lunar calendars?
One would need to look far and near
Measuring time with phased calipers.

Well, the year 2016 in the Gregorian tally
And 5776, in Jewish computation
Have aligned as natural allies,
And generated a special kind of elation.

You see, most of the world just adds a day
To that rump of a month in the frost.
While Jews go in all of the way-
Bringing a month to the front, embossed.

Jews have doubled the month of Adar
A month known as singularly happy.
Where sadness cannot otherwise mar
A people that is oftentimes sappy.

I yelled “Hooray! Two Adars is great!
Can we now celebrate Purim twice?”
But my rabbi set me straight-
“No, but that would have been nice.”

He suggested we double down on gifts-
Particularly, if serving alcohol.
But this shaloch manot has no fifths,
Yet the sentiment is the same, overall.

Happy Purim, Happy Purim!
Is our double exclamation!
Fill your own cup to the brim-
(Since Friday is anyway a vacation.)

Double Bubble, “Two”tsie rolls and Twix,
Are our way of highlighting the double.
Other great candy pairs are in the mix
As two foods get us out of trouble.

A bit more time to partake of the goodies,
In this year with added month and day.
But the shift will be quick for you foodies,
Since Pesach is still just a month away.


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