From One Jew to Another: Bernie, Please Stop the Israel Bashing

By Michael Brown Published on April 20, 2016

It is significant and disturbing that the most prominent Jewish presidential candidate in our nation’s history is also one of our loudest critics of Israel. So, while I’m feeling the burn for Bernie, it’s the burn of indignation, especially in light of the latest terror attacks in Israel.

Bernie, what are you thinking?

It’s one thing for CNN, infamous for its biased, anti-Israel reporting, to say of Monday’s bus bombing in Jerusalem, “Bus fire in Jerusalem injures at least 21, police say.”

Bus fire? The bus just combusted out of nowhere? Really?

In similar fashion, BBC News, even more notorious for its anti-Israel bias, reported on the bombing without mentioning the word “terror,” even while acknowledging that a bomb exploded, causing the fire which then spread to another bus, ultimately injuring 21.

Why did the Israeli officials immediately recognize that this was yet another terrorist act while BBC News couldn’t acknowledge it?

But we’ve come to expect this kind of bias from CNN and BBC.

We’ve even learned to expect Israel-bashing from the Obama administration, the latest example coming from the lips of Vice President Biden, who, just hours after the Jerusalem terror attack on Monday, rebuked the Israeli government while speaking to an Israel Advocacy group.

Yes, Biden’s harshest criticism of the night was not reserved for the Palestinian Authority but for the Israeli government, even as Israelis agonized at the bedsides of their critically wounded loved ones in the aftermath of the explosion.

But the attacks from Bernie Sanders have taken things to another level.

There was his extraordinary misstatement to the New York Daily News that the Israelis killed “over 10,000 innocents” in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

As noted by the Times of Israel, “According to Palestinian figures cited by the UN Human Rights Council, 1,462 civilians were killed out of a total of the 2,251 Gaza fatalities during the 51-day conflict. Israel, for its part, has said that up to half of those killed on the Palestinian side were combatants, and has blamed the civilian death toll on Hamas for deliberately placing rocket launches, tunnels and other military installations among civilians. Seventy-three people were killed on the Israeli side of the conflict.”

It is quite a jump from 1,462 to 10,000, roughly equivalent to me stating that Bernie Sanders is over 400 years old. Not only so, but 1,462 was the number supplied by Hamas, meaning that the actual number of innocents killed in the war was even less. Some have even said that Israel’s war with Hamas terrorists was one of the most carefully executed wars in modern history in terms of Israel going out of its way to avoid civilian casualties.

Yet for Sanders, this was a bloodbath of the innocent.

He has complained about Israel’s alleged “disproportionate” use of force and of its “indiscriminate” acts, continuing to level these charges in his most recent TV debate, to the point that CNN opined, “Bernie Sanders is taking a sledgehammer to the political status quo on Israel.”

To add insult to injury, Simone Zimmerman, the Jewish woman Sanders brought on as his new Jewish outreach coordinator “has a history of scathing criticism about Israeli’s policies,” including a Facebook rant in which she stated that Prime Minister Netanyahu was “an arrogant, deceptive, cynical, manipulative a**hole,” accusing him of sanctioning the murder of 2,000 people the prior summer, and closing with “F*** you Bibi.”

This is the woman he hires to help him reach out to Jewish voters?

So, from one Jew to another, Bernie, I make this appeal: Stop for a moment and consider what the people of Israel — our people — deal with on a regular basis.

Here’s a report from the bus bombing:

One Mother, Racheli Dadon, desperately looked for her daughter Eden, 15, after the bombing of the bus. “When I found her, I saw that her entire body was burned. Now she’s sedated and on a ventilator.” She added, “Someone had to have a limb amputated — she was next to my daughter.”

And what did Fatah have to say two days after the bombing? They posted a video on their Facebook page exhorting the Palestinians to “Stab, run over Israelis, be a Martyr.” (Note that the video was “produced by Fatah student movement at Birzeit University,” and remember that Fatah is the party of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.)

Earlier this year, an Israeli mother of six was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist. She saved the lives of her children by not letting him pull the knife out of her.

At her funeral the next day, her eldest daughter, 17, mourned that she was not there in time to save her mother, whom she called her best friend. Yet in the days following the murder, she and her father made clear they would not give way to bitterness and hate.

As for the woman’s 15-year-old killer, Israel has claimed that it was Palestinian Authority TV that incited him to act, noting, “In the period of time preceding the terrorist attack,” the murderer had watched “PA television, which presented Israel as a state that ‘kills Palestinian youths.’”

In short: Bernie, I share your passion for social justice, I feel your indignation, and I recognize that Israel is far from perfect. But that indignation is being directed towards the victims of terror rather than the terrorists themselves, and you would do well to tone down your rhetoric, get your facts in order, and stand with your people rather than against them.

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