Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at Boutwell Auditorium, January 18, 2016 in Birmingham, Alabama (Hal Yeager/Getty Images/AFP)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at Boutwell Auditorium, January 18, 2016 in Birmingham, Alabama (Hal Yeager/Getty Images/AFP)

Once upon a time, American Jews voted for the president who would be good for Israel. Now they don’t. They vote for the president who will properly deal with their domestic issues.

While they vote for their domestic interests, they make excuses for their candidates. They point to the pat phrases and gestures that they claim signify their candidate’s support for Israel.

They’re doing that now with Bernie Sanders.

They are cherry-picking Sanders’ speeches to show he’s not anti-Israel. Inevitably, for instance, they will pull these lines from the now infamous (among Israelis) New York Daily News interview:

I’m not going to run the Israeli government. I’ve got enough problems trying to be a United States senator or maybe President of the United States.  .  .

 

“Here’s the main point that I want to make. I lived in Israel. I have family in Israel. I believe 100% not only in Israel’s right to exist, a right to exist in peace and security without having to face terrorist attacks. . .

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a meeting with volunteers at Iowa State University, on Sunday, January 31, 2016, in Ames, Iowa (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a meeting with volunteers at Iowa State University, on Sunday, January 31, 2016, in Ames, Iowa (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

Israel will make their own decisions. They are a government, an independent nation. . .

 

“There are going to be demands being made of the Palestinian folks as well. . .

 

“[We would demand an] absolute condemnation of all terrorist attacks. The idea that in Gaza there were buildings being used to construct missiles and bombs and tunnels, that is not where foreign aid should go. Foreign aid should go to housing and schools, not the development of bombs and missiles.”

Sounds good, right?

Sounds great.

You have Sanders saying Israel is a sovereign nation and that the U.S. has no right to interfere with its policy and governance. You have Sanders saying that Israel has a right to exist in peace and security without terror attacks. You have him saying that Palestinians  also need to bring something to the table. That they need to take foreign aid and use it for development instead of for weapons for killing Jews.

If you look only at those lines, from that perspective, then you have all the freedom you need to vote for Bernie Sanders.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) addresses hecklers and supporters at the Netroots Nation 2015 Presidential Town Hall in Phoenix, Arizona, July 18, 2015. (Charlie Leight/Getty Images/AFP)

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) addresses hecklers and supporters at the Netroots Nation 2015 Presidential Town Hall in Phoenix, Arizona, July 18, 2015. (Charlie Leight/Getty Images/AFP)

Of course, anyone who uses these lines out of context like this, to prove Bernie Sanders is pro-Israel or at least, not anti-Israel, doesn’t really care about Israel when it’s time to vote.

Such a person seems to recognize, however, that Israel may still be an issue for other voters.

And that is why they will cherry-pick those lines. It’s about convincing the OTHER Jews to vote for Sanders, the ones who are still dumb enough to vote Israel instead of things like healthcare or taxes. And while those Sanders people scour his speeches for those oh-so-supportive-of-Israel lines, they may even  convince themselves of certain facts not in evidence.

They may even think to themselves, “Sanders is pro-Israel and I am a good person for choosing him.”

And just like that, all is right with their world.

Except it’s a lie.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

There is nothing pro-Israel about someone who inflates the Gazan civilian death count at the hands of the IDF of fewer than 1,000 by more than a factor of ten.

Period.

Here is what he actually said about that in that interview, once again:

10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?

 

“I don’t have it in my number … but I think it’s over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.”

Spread Calumny

In other words, not only did he inflate the number of civilian deaths by more than a factor of ten, he spread calumny about the Jewish state by describing its actions as “indiscriminate.”

He spoke about hospitals being bombed, when anyone who knows anything about the Arab war against the Jews knows that Arabs place rocket launchers in apartment buildings and hospitals for the specific purpose of jacking up the civilian death count to make Israel look bad in the media.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Any Jew who cares about Israel knows that this operation (as per all Israeli operations) involved pinpoint strikes.

Any Jew worth his salt knows that Israel drops leaflets with maps in Arabic, telling civilians where they can go to be safe during an impending strike.

Any Jew who knows the words of the Shema prayer knows that Israel employs the knock on the roof technique to tell civilians: get out now, we’re about to strike, go to a safe place.

(By the way, compare that to the 15 seconds Israeli civilians in Sderot have to get to shelter when Gazan terrorists shoot missiles and mortars at them. That’s assuming the Israeli warning siren goes off. There’s no warning from Gaza, because their whole intention is to catch off guard and kill as many Jews as possible. As opposed to the IDF, which takes pains to avoid civilian loss of life, as much as possible.)

But here you have someone who is not only Jewish — someone who lived in Israel — someone who is running for the highest office in the land and knows not a single one of these facts.

Or knows but doesn’t care.

Or knows and prefers to spread calumny about his people and his indigenous territory.

A man interrupts Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders during a Community Conversation at the Apollo Theater in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City April 9, 2016. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images/AFP)

A man interrupts Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders during a Community Conversation at the Apollo Theater in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City April 9, 2016. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images/AFP)

What this tells me is that, at the very least, Bernie Sanders is a disconnected Jew and that his disconnection is a personal choice. Feeling the Bern means helping to spread an ideology that would erase the individual, the meaning of the Jewish religion, and the meaning of the Jewish State.

How can we know this? He talks about equality. He speaks of demanding the cessation of “all terror attacks,” intimating there is terror emanating from both sides, when this is not the case. There is one side engaging in terror attacks. One or two incidences on the Jewish side (that is all I can think of), do not a moral equivalency make.

He doesn’t have any clue that fewer than 800 civilians were killed in that strike. What kind of Jew is that? What kind of pro-Israel candidate is that?

It’s Insulting

Inflating the death count by more than a factor of ten. Ridiculous that he doesn’t know. Ridiculous and INSULTING that he thinks Israel did anything like that.

Once upon a time, Jews cared about each other. Now they care about social justice and call it “Judaism.”

It is no such thing.

And if they don’t know it, Bernie Sanders most certainly does.