Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

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
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is (partly) generated by AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. * If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * 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, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. * His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance 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. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
Related Topics
Related Posts