Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 16th, 2018


Bernie Sanders Campaign Suspends Jewish Outreach Coordinator for Vulgar Remarks About Netanyahu

By Jason Horowitz, Apr. 14, 2016

Note: Since when the terms“arrogant, deceptive, cynical, manipulative.” are considered vulgar Mr. Sanders? And do you know that Sanders voted in Congress 1995 for Jerusalem to be Capital of Israel?

Updated, 12:22 a.m. | The Sanders campaign’s announcement on Tuesday that Simone Zimmerman would be its national Jewish outreach coordinator delighted her fellow left-wing Jewish political activists and encouraged their belief that public expressions of disgust with the Israeli government had edged into the acceptable mainstream of Democratic politics.

They might have been getting ahead of themselves.

On Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign suspended Ms. Zimmerman, 25, after revelations that she had used vulgarities in Facebook posts about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Hillary Clinton.

The suspension, hours before a Democratic presidential debate in Brooklyn, made for an embarrassing misstep for Mr. Sanders, a secular Jew who, despite having lived briefly in Israel (How brief and for what purpose?) and being the most successful candidate of his faith in American history, is being pummeled by Mrs. Clinton among Jewish voters.

But the suspension was also an important moment in the small but deeply felt universe of Democratic Jewish politics, which has been torn apart on generational and ideological lines over the acceptable level of criticism of Israel’s right-wing government.

With Ms. Zimmerman’s history of opposition to Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza, her hiring drew concerted and ultimately overwhelming pressure from American Jewish leaders.

Her suspension showed that when it came to the high stakes and intense scrutiny of presidential politics, the establishment’s view of Ms. Zimmerman and her brethren as dangerous radicals still held sway even with Mr. Sanders, a candidate promising a revolution.

The fact that he acted shows that obviously he didn’t think it was acceptable,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

A chorus of Jewish figures, including Abe Foxman, the president emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League, had joined Mr. Hoenlein in calling for Ms. Zimmerman’s firing.

The final straw was a report on Wednesday in the Washington Free Beacon, which found a Facebook post in which she used a vulgarity and described Mr. Netanyahu as “arrogant, deceptive, cynical” and “manipulative.”

She then used more aggressive language and continued that he had “sanctioned the murder of over 2,000 people this summer.” (If this allegation is wrong, sue her instead of hiding these facts under the carpet)

Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, wrote in an email, “She has been suspended while we investigate the matter.” (Yeah. Kind she committed a crime?)

After Mr. Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic primary in a landslide, Ms. Zimmerman also wrote triumphantly on Facebook, “The first Jew in history just won a primary, as a proud socialist calling for political revolution.” Then she criticized Mrs. Clinton and added a vulgarity.

Ms. Zimmerman declined to comment on her suspension, but supporters noted that she wrote the Facebook post about Mr. Netanyahu in March 2015, an emotionally charged time, when Mr. Netanyahu infuriated liberals across the United States by addressing Congress to argue against President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. (Context has no value in politics?)

“This is the American Jewish community eating its own,” said Peter Beinart, a mentor to Ms. Zimmerman and a leading voice in liberal Zionism. “Simone is the best of the best. Most of the other kids have given up on the community. She cares deeply and wants to make it live up to its own stated ideals.”

In an interview last year about the shifts in American Jewish politics, Ms. Zimmerman talked about how she had grown up in an active Jewish community and household in Los Angeles, with a grandparent who had fought for Israeli independence. Other relatives were killed in the Holocaust, she said.

After receiving training from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, Ms. Zimmerman entered the University of California, Berkeley, she said, with the intention of defending Israel. But she began doubting Israeli policies regarding the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, settlements, and what she viewed as the excessive use of military force.

She then became the national president of the student branch of J Street, a pro-Israel lobbying group that is critical of the Netanyahu government. She started a grass-roots movement of thousands of young Jews who sought to stop American Jewish groups from supporting Israeli policies in the occupied territories.

She protested in front of the offices of Mr. Hoenlein, among others.

“They claim to speak for the American Jewish community,” she said, adding that “young people make the establishment the most worried.”

But apparently the Sanders campaign, despite its popularity among young liberal voters who tend to agree with Ms. Zimmerman on the question of Israel, became worried, too.

A significant number of Jewish voters consider Ms. Zimmerman and her allies to be radicals, and the Sanders campaign, already facing a more than 30-point deficit among New York’s Jewish Democrats, according to a new NBC New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, took action.

In Thursday night’s debate, though, Mr. Sanders advocated a critical discussion of Israel that, while popular with his young liberal base, was unlikely to please the Jewish establishment figures who had sought to hold a common line on Israel in Democratic politics.

Mr. Sanders criticized Mrs. Clinton’s pro-Israel orthodoxy, called the Israeli army’s use of arms against Palestinians “disproportionate” and argued that “we have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.”

Ms. Zimmerman would have approved.

Find out what you need to know about the 2016 presidential race today, and get politics news updates via FacebookTwitter and the First Draft newsletter.

Correction: April 14, 2016
An earlier version of this article misstated Abe Foxman’s position with the Anti-Defamation League. He is a former national director of the group, not the current president.
 Well, that was fast.

I wonder if, when he hired her, he had ANY IDEA what he was stepping in. He just doesn’t seem that hip on the current state of Palestine/Israel discourse. He might have just thought she seemed like a nice girl with a good resume.

Then again, he has worked in Washington for quite a long time. How could he not know about the Israel lobby or its power or epic tetchiness? Maybe just because he’s kind of stayed out of the Israel question for the most part?

Both the hiring and the suspending raise many questions. It’ll be interesting to see how it shakes out.

But I can say if I were running for president right now, I probably wouldn’t try to be ruffling any Israel lobby feathers at this point.

There’s no benefit in it right at this moment (especially in freaking New York), and there’ll be plenty of time for that battle once you’re in the Oval Office. (Like when? This state of horror has been going on for 7 decades. Trump just openly supported Israel and he won on other issues)

Yes! UN Human Rights Council declares Israel world’s No. 1 human rights violator




April 2018

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