Mr. Sanders, those who know him say, exemplifies a distinct strain of Jewish identity, a secular offshoot at least 150 years old whose adherents in the shtetls of Eastern Europe and the jostling streets of the Lower East Side were socialists, anarchists, radicals and union organizers focused less on observance than on economic justice and repairing a broken world. Indeed, he seems more comfortable speaking about Pope Francis, whose views on income inequality he admires, than about his own religious beliefs.
Rabbi Paley, who worked with Jews in central Vermont when he was a Dartmouth College chaplain, recalled once talking with Mr. Sanders about “non-Jewish Jews,” a term coined by a leftist biographer, Isaac Deutscher, to describe those who express Jewish values through their “solidarity with the persecuted.” Mr. Sanders seemed to acknowledge that the term described him, Rabbi Paley said.
I am fairly certain that the African Americans among my readers will recognize this as the Jewish counterpart of “not Black enough.” For those of you who need more to connect the dots, here are some quotes from the two pieces I recently published on this topic here and here:
““I’ve tried to be as specific to answer questions so that my proposals can be vetted, because I feel like we have to level with people for the very reason, Gwen, that you are mentioning.”
There is a subtle subtext here and a running theme of well-known whistles that have historically been applied to people of Sanders’ heritage, using the economic stereotype of Jews as untrustworthy with money. This kind of expression by Clinton through at least the last two debates, mirrors the 2008 primary‘s progression into the ugly fight the Clintons waged against then-candidate Obama as his popularity grew and her lead started to evaporate. Obama, then, was also portrayed as the “other.”
Then, there is this exchange which goes to a different antisemitic stereotype, that of the treacherous Jew:
CLINTON: “I want to follow up on something having to do with leadership, because, you know, today Senator Sanders said that President Obama failed the presidential leadership test. And this is not the first time that he has criticized President Obama. In the past he has called him weak. He has called him a disappointment. He wrote a forward for a book that basically argued voters should have buyers’ remorse when it comes to President Obama’s leadership and legacy. And I just couldn’t agree — disagree more with those kinds of comments. You know, from my perspective, maybe because I understand what President Obama inherited, not only the worst financial crisis but the antipathy of the Republicans in Congress, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for being a president…” (APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: “… who got us out of that…” (APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: “… put us on firm ground, and has sent us into the future. And it is a — the kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans. I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama.”
SANDERS: “Madam Secretary, that is a low blow. I have worked with President Obama for the last seven years. When President Obama came into office we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, 800,000 jobs a month. We had a $1.4 trillion deficit. And the world’s financial system is on the verge of collapse. As a result of his efforts and the efforts of Joe Biden against unprecedented, I was there in the Senate, unprecedented Republican obstructionism, we have made enormous progress.” (APPLAUSE)
SANDERS: “But you know what? Last I heard we lived in a democratic society. Last I heard, a United States senator had the right to disagree with the president, including a president who has done such an extraordinary job. So I have voiced criticisms. You’re right. Maybe you haven’t. I have. But I think to suggest that I have voiced criticism, this blurb that you talk about, you know what the blurb said? The blurb said that the next president of the United States has got to be aggressive in bringing people into the political process. That’s what I said. That is what I believe.” (APPLAUSE)
It is a rare sight when a Democrat questions the loyalty of a fellow Democrat. I can’t think of any other Democratic politician who has attempted to impugn another, using a tack that hearkens back to the Nixon administration. Moreover, throughout President Obama’s presidency, Bernie Sanders continued to caucus with Democrats and during the time the Senate was under Democratic control, chaired one of the Senate committees; a duty conferred to him by Democrats. So, clearly, Sanders’ allegiance has never been in question.
Of course, these questionable attacks could be completely innocent and the repeated use of familiar racially-tinged references coincidental. However, the Clintons having such long careers in politics that are rife with documented uses of racially-coded language and dog-whistles, including just last week, tends to support the suspicion that these are not mere happenstance.”
“While the first article informs, the second both questions Sanders’ Jewish self-identity incorrectly and assumes, based on one interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and a mention that Sanders spent Yom Kippur speaking at Liberty University, that Sanders identifies primarily as a socialist. However, Sanders, who is not an observant Jew, does not shy away from asserting his Jewish identity whenever he is directly asked about it. Sanders is also not a socialist in the classic sense of the term, or in the “Jewish socialist” classification sense of the term. The kind of socialism Sanders identifies with is Democratic socialism of the kind one associates with Europe’s labor movements, and not the Jewish emigre movements of New York in the last century, even though, clearly, Sanders’ Jewish ethics are derived from the uniquely secular Jewish environment he was raised in. The first article, from The Forward, better explains the environment that Sanders matured in, but neither article explains the arc of Sanders’ development after he left Brooklyn for Chicago.
At a time when racial bias is at such an all-time high that it is the focus of a new movement for civil rights, Sanders provides a uniquely universalist approach to solving some of America’s most persistent problems; one that is decoupled from America’s race-centric approach, one that embraces the humanist ethos, rather than tribal affiliation, including his own. Sanders’ growing appeal in “firewall” communities may well be a subconscious appreciation by the youngest in these groups, that a universalist approach, together with the balancing effect of today’s new civil rights militancy is the wave of the future.”
This new drumbeat questioning Sanders’ Jewish chops is part of what I term the new Clinton undercover campaign of Jew against Jew pushed by antisemites and abetted by neoliberal Jews. Yes, it may seem strange to some, but there will be many readers who will instantly recognize this racist tactic for what it is. It is the same tactic that was used in the 1950’s to keep Jews in line by pitting them against each other all throughout the McCarthy era merely through the subconscious racial dog whistle of associating Jews with communism and socialism, characterizing Jews as “others” from the outside looking in, and separating Jews from within, using the vilest of ideological and emotional blackmail tools available.
For the record, Bernie Sanders doesn’t wear his Judaism on his sleeve, but he doesn’t shy away from talking about it, either:
While Sanders’ tribal affiliation isn’t how he defines himself, it is a far cry from the behaviors associated with that of a “self-hating Jew.” But that stigma, as ugly as it is, is precisely what these media pieces are designed to instill in the subconscious minds of Jewish readers. It’s a very ugly tactic of Jewish divide and conquer.
In “The Media Painting #HillaryClinton As Heir To Barack Obama? A Snow Job!” I reported on a Gawker investigation of editorial interference by Hillary Clinton operatives with the media:
“In “This Is How Hillary Clinton Gets The Coverage She Wants,” Gawker Magazine provides us with a laser pointer on that unseen hand:
Hillary Clinton’s supporters often argue that mainstream political reporters are incapable of covering her positively—or even fairly. While it may be true that the political press doesn’t always write exactly what Clinton would like, emails recently obtained by Gawker offer a case study in how her prodigious and sophisticated press operation manipulates reporters into amplifying her desired message—in this case, down to the very word thatThe Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder used to describe an important policy speech.
The emails in question, which were exchanged by Ambinder, then serving as The Atlantic’s politics editor, and Philippe Reines, Clinton’s notoriously combative spokesman and consigliere, turned up thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request we filed in 2012 (and which we are currently suing the State Department over). The same request previously revealed that Politico’s chief White House correspondent, Mike Allen, promised to deliverpositive coverage of Chelsea Clinton, and, in a separate exchange, permitted Reines to ghost-write an item about the State Department for Politico’s Playbook newsletter. Ambinder’s emails with Reines demonstrate the same kind of transactional reporting, albeit to a much more legible degree: In them, you can see Reines “blackmailing” Ambinder into describing a Clinton speech as “muscular” in exchange for early access to the transcript. In other words, Ambinder outsourced his editorial judgment about the speech to a member of Clinton’s own staff.”
How likely is it that the proliferation of articles designed to question Bernie Sanders’ Jewishness isn’t some whisper campaign engineered at Clinton headquarters? How likely is it that Hillary Clinton and her surrogates learned from their 2008 mistakes? Well, if Bill Clinton’s cocky insistence of retaining his title as “first Black president” is any indication, the answer is: highly unlikely!
Of interest about this particular video clip is that Bill Clinton’s obvious racial reference didn’t raise the media’s eyebrows, mind you, just three days after actress Meryl Streep trended everywhere after her own “we’re all African” comment.
Bernie Sanders has come under attack over every aspect of his campaign, from policy to the very essence of his identity; from what are perfectly progressive policy planks, to the lowest of the low: whisper campaigns questioning his loyalty to party, country, and to his own tribe. This weekend saw a new attack, though swiftly aborted by video evidence, accusing Sanders of racist behaviors. Time Magazine continues to propagate the lie, with a new piece, based on already debunked lies in an interview with David Brock. If you don’t know Clinton campaign associate David Brock’s very checkered history, this BBC documentary will bring you back to the scandals of the 1990’s:
I must say, the Clintons’ choice of friends is perplexing at times.
The engineering of the “othering” of Bernie Sanders, from within his tribe, is as ugly as the “othering” of Barack Obama in 2008. It needs to be recognized for what it is, called out, and rejected by all decent Americans. The use of racial dog whistles as a political tool by any Democratic candidate should be left in America’s ugly past, lest we want the party to go the way of the current undoing of the Republican party. The Clintons’ willingness to make use of David Brock as their go-to instigator of racial strife is disgusting. It should be widely publicized and the Clintons forced to renounce him as an associate.
We don’t need David Brock, the professional smear artist. He’s done more than enough. The Democratic party is in enough of an existential crisis of purpose and mission as it is. Let’s not add race to an already very toxic mix, during one of the most racially-fraught eras this nation has experienced.
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