Soviet Union-honeymooning, Sandinista-supporting, economically illiterate $18 trillion-proposing socialist Bernie Sanders had a wide-ranging interview last week with the New York Daily News editorial board. The entire interview was “pretty close to a disaster,” and neatly bifurcates Sanders’ pie-in-the-sky rhetoric from the actual realities of governance.
But for all of Sanders’ ignorant bluster on populist bank-busting, one part of the NYDN interview stands out. Bernie Sanders, the first (nominally) Jewish candidate to win a major political party’s presidential primary, is now on record as supporting the blood libel of our time. Just as so-called “anti-Zionism” is the new, thinly veiled anti-Semitism, the new blood libel deals not with inhumane slandering of the Jewish people, but of the Jewish state.
For Israel-bashers and Jew-haters — and let’s be clear, Sanders has many among his own Vermont constituents — everywhere, the State of Israel serves as something of a grossly unhealthy obsession. ISIS? Blame Mossad. Lack of peace in the Middle East? Blame not the hegemonic theocratic zealots in Tehran or the mass-murdering strongman Assad in Damascus, but instead blame Israel’s refusal to follow the example of the disastrous 2005 Gaza unilateral withdrawal by fully withdrawing from Judea and Samaria.
Part of this unhealthy obsession, so increasingly pervasive amongst left-wing “social justice warriors” on university campuses nationwide, is to view the Jewish state as being a uniquely noxious evil force. Thus, we get grossly defamatory “Holocaust inversion” demagoguery. Max Blumenthal, the absolutely contemptible son of Clinton aide Sid Blumenthal, refers to Israeli Jews as “Judeo-Nazis” and likens the IDF to the Third Reich’s infamous SS. And so on.
To continue the narrative, these people tend to view the situation in Gaza — whose people freely and democratically elected to office the Sunni Islamic terrorist group Hamas promptly upon Israel’s 2005 withdrawal — as that of an “open-air prison,” and generally freak out beyond belief whenever Israel does what any sovereign entity would do and acts in its own self-defense with regard to infiltrating terrorist rocket fire from neighboring Hamas. Thus, we get the UN’s infamous farce, the Goldstone Report, among all sorts of other malarkey.
Israel’s most recent defensive war against Hamas took place in summer 2014, and only fomented more leftist obsession. Showing yet again what a fig leaf the ruse of “anti-Zionism” is, “pro-Palestinian” protesters took to Paris synagogues to incite would-be pogroms, and shouted “Jew, Jew, cowardly swine, come out and fight on your own!” in the streets of Berlin.
Cue Sanders’ interview with the NYDN. From (the politically centrist) Times of Israel founding editor David Horovitz:
In his New York Daily News interview, Sanders…castigated Israel for an ostensibly ‘indiscriminate’ war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, and, while admitting that he didn’t really know the facts, asserted, twice, that Israel killed over 10,000 innocent civilians in the course of that conflict.
Over 10,000 innocent civilians? That’s seven times the self-serving figure asserted by Hamas, the terror group that runs Gaza, and gleefully adopted by the UN Human Rights Council, the sham body that obsessively loathes Israel. According to Hamas, 1,462 civilians were killed. The Israeli authorities believe the true figure was far lower, both because Hamas inflated the overall numbers of combatants and noncombatants killed, and because Hamas deliberately misrepresents many of its own dead gunmen, who often fought out of uniform, as civilians — to demonize Israel, and to minimize its own losses. Israel also stresses that Hamas deliberately placed Gazans in harm’s way by putting its rocket launchers and terror tunnel openings in and around their homes. Finally, Israeli officials note that no civilians whatsoever would have been killed had Hamas not chosen to maintain its violent hostility to Israel, which since 2005 has had no civilian presence and no military presence whatsoever in the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, Israel did what much of the world — including Bernie Sanders — would have it do in the West Bank: It left. And war followed…
None of this has made any impact on Bernie Sanders because, quite evidently, he hasn’t bother to look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with any seriousness…
‘I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?’ Sanders ventured initially.
His interlocutors told him he was likely wrong: ‘I think it’s probably high, but we can look at that,’ someone from the Daily News replied, according to the paper’s transcript.
But Sanders, undeterred and un-correctable, insisted on repeating it, even as he again acknowledged that he didn’t really know what he was talking about: ‘I don’t have it in my number…but I think it’s over 10,000,’ he persisted…
We should not mince words here. This is modern-day blood libel. Bernie Sanders not only obstinately insists that Israel inhumanely bombed hospitals and civilian centers in Gaza — casually forgetting about the fact that Hamas infamously uses human shields to guard their weapons caches — but also grossly exaggerates the final Gaza death toll a whopping seven times beyond what the terrorist group Hamas itself claims. It is disgraceful and reprehensible, as even the left-leaning Anti-Defamation League has noted. While we should not hold our breath for an apology regarding his specious moral equivalencies between peace-seeking, democratic Israel and the ruthless jihadists in Hamas, the Sanders campaign should immediately apologize for its egregious factual distortions.
When Chuck “Jewish lobby” Hagel first began his stint as U.S. Defense Secretary, Ben Shapiro took heat for the “Friends of Hamas” mini-controversy. If such a group were to actually commence, though, it seems the nominally Jewish Bernie Sanders ought to be be a founding member.