Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Is Bernie Sanders an Anti-Semite?

The European definition of anti-Semitism is, loosely speaking, someone who singles out Israel and/or Jews negatively. Bernie Sanders does, so is he an anti-Semite?

I do not want to answer this question with a simplistic yes OR no. But I do want to get to a simple answer. Then we need to go visit all the issues and see if we may end up with simplicity.

Isn’t it beyond the pale to call a decent person an anti-Semite? Not, it is not. Some people use anti-Semite to mean: a mass murderer. That is not just. An anti-Semite is a bigot like a sexist and a racist. No every sexist is Qaddafi; not every anti-Semite is Hitler.

Does that not depend on what someone feels in his heart? Since we can’t know that, does that not mean that we should never call someone decent an anti-Semite? No, we may judge someone on his deeds and leave his heart to be judged by G-d. Besides, an anti-Semite is not a person who is rotten, wicked or crazy to the core. Rather, he is fully a human being who made very bad choices. If evil would be inherent in him, he would not be responsible. Do we condemn a vicious dog?

He’s a Jew — can we call a Jew an anti-Semite? I have held for decades that a Jew who spreads Jews’ hatred is an innocent victim of self-hatred and of course not an anti-Semite. Until it became clear to me that they is a ridiculous excuse. Any person who actively and prominently spreads hatred for Jews deserves to be called an anti-Semite.

The US is not an anti-Semitic country. Prejudices exist, but the situation for Jews is rather good. Anti-Semites have to be bused in from all over the country to look more than a pathetic mob (Chancellorsville). If you think the US is unsafe for Jews, visit other countries.

We must make a difference between hard-core bigots and people with wrong sentiments. Not every man with sexist ideas in his head is equal to a man holding women as sex slaves. Not every Gentile with prejudicial ideas against Jews in his head is a hard-core anti-Semite.

As I mentioned before, Trump is not a racist. He feels warm and cozy about Blacks (and uneasy), so he doesn’t see himself as a racist. But he is ignorant on race enough to be manipulated by hard-core racists, and to use racist ideas (Mexicans are rapists) to attract others, seeing no harm in it. As a leaders, he spreads racism.

It seems to me that the same is true for Sanders. Sanders is not an anti-Semite. He feels warm and cozy about Jews (and irritated), so he doesn’t see himself as an anti-Semite. But he is ignorant on Jews enough to be manipulated by hard-core anti-Semites, and to use anti-Semitic ideas (Israel oppresses Palestinians) to attract others, seeing no harm in it. As a leaders, he spreads Jews’ hatred.

Form the above, we can only conclude that Bernie Sanders is an anti-Semite. He will feel offended because he intends no harm to Jews. But he does. Not only does he exhibit extraordinary animosity against Israeli Jews – that would be one thing. He also doesn’t give them a fair hearing. If – G-d forbid – he becomes president of the US, he will be the worst – and we had some bad ones – in the history of Zionism.

This picture is as insane as the story in the Scroll of Esther. The ruling slightly-bigoted US president has two Orthodox Jews on his side, and loves Israel. His competitor in the next elections is a non-religious Jew who is a staunch ally of women, Blacks, you name them, but the Jews. If it would be in a book, play or movie, we would call its plot unrealistic.

Like in the Scroll of Esther, we will escape danger. Sanders will never win from Donald Trump, as I argued before. Thank G-d for small favors.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo and Rav Zev Leff. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Many people can't understand or like him because he has such a wide vision that he never fits any specialist's box. But that exactly what others love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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