A Facebook Conversation on Why I am a Fan of Bernie

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  • Ben

    Hi Sam! How you doing? It’s been a long time. I saw your post and I understand you support Bernie for President. I would be happy if you could tell me a little about it. For us here, he doesn’t seem like a good president for Israel and/or Jews. In fact, some people here call him “antisemitic Jew” :)

  • Sam

    Hey Ben, I’d love to explain as concisely as possible. It’s a tough thing to explain because the American/Israeli relation to Judaism is so complex. Basically, Jews in America and Israel tend to support people who publicly back Israel even if their actions actually harm it. Example is the Bush presidency. Bush was great on the surface, he always spoke well of Israel, always gave money, always vetoed in UN but in reality he turned ME into a quagmire that Israel has to deal with, he turned Iran from a society that was moving to moderation into a complete pariah and worse of all, his actions lead to more conflicts in Israel than in all time before him. He used Israeli and Palestinian lives as cannon fodder to experiment new weapons and the sad part is that Israelis were ok with it because publicly he sounded like he supported them.

    Israelis need to understand, that support for Israel by America depends on one thing: the support of American people for Israel. The leadership of America cannot continue to support Israel if American people to feel that America is siding with Israel not out of free will or good intentions but because Israel is actually influencing politics. This is what happened with Bibi coming to the Senate and speaking in a way that  embarrassed Obama in his own country. Imagine Obama talking to Knesset going around Bibi? How would Israelis feel. Americans feel like Israel is acting too big for its britches.

    Trump and Clinton are continuing with that tradition, they speak one thing but their actions are another. Clinton was clearly anti-Israel for quiet some time and her time as secretary of state create even worse environment that there was before which was already bad. Trump’s words are even worse because they create hate inside American people and him siding with Israel would actually cause hate to be directed at Jews and Israel whose acceptance of Trump would be seen as endorsement of his racist statements and would affect Israel even more than Trump. That’s what happened when Trump spoke at AIPAC  when he made fun of Obama and people cheered. The rest of America, the non-white America, the part which will rule this country in 4 years heard those cheers and oh are they angry. The cheers by Jews of a man that is racist to them make them  loose trust in Jews and Israel.

     And then there is Bernie. Bernie walked with MLK, he is a Holocaust survivor, he does not parade his Jewishness and he acts in the Tikun Olam, like a mensch and like a tzedek. He is a Jew who does not fear to use the word Jewish the way Lieberman and Bloomber often do and at the same time, he does not let Jewish religion and dogma run his life. This makes him even more trustworthy and credible. Furthermore he has no respect for AIPAC which invited a man who has alienated all minorities in America and he has the support of all minorities. This makes him more trusted with American people and that gives him a lot more leeway to help Israel.
    What’s more, Bernie has never made me feel ashamed to be a Jew and he inspires others to like Jews. I was shocked last night to see thousands of Americans of all colors and backgrounds come to see him and support him. For the first time I felt no anti-semitism. That’s why he is not anti-semitic. He does not feel the weight of Jewishness, the feeling that somehow being Jewish means he is less than others and does not deserve to be president.
    He is not afraid to run for Presidency and that is offensive to a lot of Jews who feel that we should “know our place.” He is an American, he has that right and Jews who make him feel less than for that are the real anti-semites. That’s why I support him. Because he has the right to represent himself, he knows that he has the right to run for presidency and he is a man of integrity and respect. He makes me proud to be a Jew while other candidates who say things that make Jewish people like their words and ignore their deeds, make me worry. And the Jews who accept demagoguery, make me cringe

    I wish Jews could celebrate this, a Jew finally runs and has a chance and we start pulling him down. Sad.

    • Ben

      Wow, that’s more than I expected. First of all, thanks a lot for this explanation. Well, I believe I don’t have to say it, but I don’t support Bibi in any of his actions, and I of course did not elect him to PM. Sadly, he still won. You say that the American people feel that America is siding with Israel and that it effects your politics. What would they feel when the president who sides with Israel is a Jew? Wouldn’t that look bad? Don’t you think Bernie will need to be more cautious with any action which serves Israel’s interests? And as a result, will have to be less pro-israel.

    • Sam

      Yes I think he will have to be more cautious but that’s any Jewish president but that doesn’t mean that we Jews should feel like we shouldn’t run for president when we are citizens of United States. If we feel like we can’t then we are either anti-semitic to ourselves or should move to Israel

      Americans can sense perfectly well when someone is acting in the interests of America and working with ali and when one is doing something because of a personal interest, I don’t think that it will be a problem with Bernie, no more than with any other Jewish candidate

    • I think because he is more independent, people will trust him more when time comes to side with Israel, with others, not so much and there would be back lash which means they would be able to side once but second and third time they may not… I think Bernie would have more cache and ability to side with Israel with less blowback from Americans. Internationally that’s different but because he has been able to be independent all of his life, stand up for his thoughts and deeds, I don’t think that will be a problem for him
    • With Hillary, her past points to the fact that she only does what is popular, that could be disastrous for Israel. Especially considering her past interest in working with BDS groups.

    • Ben

      Well, now that you have convinced me that it wouldn’t be so bad if Bernie will win, let’s answer the more important question – Does he have a chance??

       It looks like the next president is Hilary no matter what…
    • Sam
      I thought so too, I still kind of think so. And yet it’s pretty amazing, the media has ignored him, gave no airplay, he got zero money from corporations and his party. And yet he has 40% of the votes with 70% still up for grabs. He has beaten out all other candidates except Hillary. And of course, there are his supporters. I saw thousands of people show up and line up for hours to see him. This rally was unannounced, all people showed up on a Tuesday from one email.. Hillary can’t do that.. I think even if he doesn’t get elected, what he has done is nothing short of amazing.

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