The return of Leon Trotsky

“It’s going to be very hard for anybody to call me, whose father’s family was wiped out by Hitler, who spent time in Israel, an anti-Semite.” [Senator Bernie Sanders]

International definition of anti-Semitism states it to be a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

“To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right-wing, racist governments that currently exist in Israel”, Bernie Sanders said during a CNN town hall event in Las Vegas.

Jews who disown their heritage, religion, nationalism, communal activities or Zionism are undoubtedly a minority, but often make their presence felt. They create the likeness of J Street, an organization which cannot even gain acceptance by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, hardly a right wing retreat. Sanders had no problem attending one of their conferences, but refused his presence at AIPAC a pro-Zionist organization. And indeed, by virtue of definition, Jews too can be anti-Semites.

In 1973, the Arabs succeeded in having Israel face the charge of “Zionism is Racism” at the United Nations. An extremely elegant response was provided by the then Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Chaim Herzog. The extraordinary history communicated by Herzog could provide more than a primer on the subject for the ill informed or prejudiced Sanders.

Herzog was undoubtedly a great orator and a most eloquent spokesman, well suited to facing the hostile Arab-Soviet-led chorus in the General Assembly. His introductory remarks drew attention to the day, where 37 years in the past Kristallnacht, the Night of the Crystals occured. This was the night in 1938 when Hitler’s Nazi storm troopers launched a coordinated attack on the Jewish community in Germany, burned the synagogues in all its cities and made bon-fires in the streets, of the Holly Books and the Scrolls of the Holy Law and Bible.

He explains Zionism to be one of the most dynamic and vibrant national movements in human history. Historically it is based on a unique and unbroken connection, extending some 4,000 years, between the People of the Book and the Land of the Bible. Support for the aim of Zionism was written into the League of Nations Mandate and was again endorsed by the United Nations in 1947, when the General Assembly voted by overwhelming majority for the restoration of Jewish independence in our ancient land. Herzog draws attention to a written statement from Abba Eban, a former Foreign Minister of Israel:

“——And the drama is enacted in the region in which the Arab nation has realized its sovereignty in 20 states comprising 100 million people in 4.5 million square miles, with vast resources. The issue therefore is not whether the world will come to terms with Arab nationalism. The question is at what point Arab nationalism, with its prodigious glut of advantage, wealth and opportunity, will come to terms with the modest but equal rights of another Middle Eastern nation to pursue its life in security and peace.”

This is an extremely important statement in that it revisits Britain’s approach at the conclusion of WW2. As the victor of the given war, Britain was entitled to absorb Turkish Empire. Instead it elected to grant sovereignty to the provinces i.e. Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Libya etc. Palestine was different in that it did not exist as a country. Those living there referred to as Palestinians were Jews. Apart from a few resident Arabs, the majority who emigrated to Palestine originated in the former Turkish lands, as a result of the economy established by the Jews.

Herzog: “I do not come to this rostrum to defend the moral and historical values of the Jewish people. They do not need to be defended. They speak for themselves.——King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel almost 3,000 years ago, and Jerusalem has remained the capital ever since.——You dare talk of racism when I can point with pride to the Arab deputy speaker of my Parliament; to the Arab officers and men serving of their own violation in our border and police defense forces, frequently commanding Jewish troops; to the hundreds and thousands of Arabs from all over the ME, crowding the cities of Israel every year; to the thousands of Arabs—coming for medical treatment to Israel.”

Indeed today, one can find Arab judges, prosecutors, lawyers, doctors and other professions in Israel. Since it appears Bernie Sanders is far from well heeled in history, presumably he is not aware of this. What is obvious, as reflected by his own statements on racism, is his “education” at the hands of established Arab propagandists.
For his edification, the infamous “Zionism is Racism” resolution was rescinded in 1993 thanks to the efforts of John Bolton, then US Ambassador and US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Sanders does not need to engage us in a retrial for racism.

Author Ann Roiphe penned a piece in Tablet entitled, “Is Zionism Racist” on April 13, 2015. She commences her essay thus; “I am a person of the left and have been ever since———or maybe it began when the Rosenberg’s were executed and I knew a great lynching had occurred or maybe it was the photos of Auschwitz that I saw in Life magazine that made it clear I was one of those inside the fence not those waving at passing trains. That is why today the phrase “Zionism is Racism” sends shivers down my spine and sets my teeth to grinding.

After traversing history and in particular the tragedies suffered by the Jews through the ages, Roiphe declares, “It hurts to be called a racist, especially if one is not.” After making comparisons with many other nations, Ann Roiphe concludes, “To be against racism is good but to see it where it is not, to use the word to attack Jews, is appalling.”
Sanders was probably too engrossed with Marxism to have read this essay, despite the author being “a person of the left.”

Who did Bernie Sanders socialize with over the years? The names to be found in newspapers include Noam Chomsky, Simone Zimmerman, Peter Beinart and Zogby. All, at the minimum, having anti-Semitic tendencies. And what had a major influence on him? The events commonly referred to as “settlements” and “occupation.”

The campaign against legal Jewish settlements in the disputed – rather than occupied – area of Judea and Samaria is based on gross misrepresentations, fueling infidelity to law, which undermines the pursuit of peace. Further, his lack of knowledge on ME history only results in bias. He could not answer questions such as [a] What is Palestine? [b] Who are the Palestinians ? [c] Who are the people that never existed in history needs a useful past ? or relate to “The Jewish Right to the Land of Israel”.

Dr. Meir Rosenne in his paper, “Understanding UN Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, on the Middle East”, furnishes a brilliant expose of the Resolution. As an introduction, he rightly states that it has been the pivotal point of reference in all Arab-Israeli diplomacy for over 30 years. He notes that every major Arab-Israeli agreement – from 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace through the 1993 Oslo Agreements- refers to Resolution 242. The salient points made by Meir Rosenne are as follows:

[1] All the efforts of the Arab bloc to have Israel branded at the UN as the aggressor in the Six-Day War completely failed.
[2] Resolution 242 in no way called on Israel to withdraw to the lines of June 4, 1967, before the outbreak of the Six-Day War.
[3] Is the acquisition of captured territory by Israel in 1967 legal? The great authority in international law, Elihu Lauterpacht, has drawn the distinction between unlawful territorial change by an aggressor and lawful territorial change in response to an aggressor.
[4] The USSR proposed on November 20, 1967, to include a clause requiring Israel to withdraw to the pre-war lines of June 5, 1967, but this language was rejected.
[5] After Resolution 242 was adopted, the Soviet deputy foreign minister admitted:”There is certainly much leeway for different interpretations that retain for Israel the right to establish new boundaries and to withdraw its troops only so far as the lines it judges convenient.”
[6] Resolution 242 is not self-enforcing ; Israel is not expected to unilaterally withdraw from territories to fulfill its terms. It requires direct negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
[7] According to Resolution 242, there is no Israel obligation to withdraw prior to the achievement of a comprehensive peace. Nor is there any requirement of Israel of Israel to withdraw fully from the territories it captured in 1967.

There are 2 further points worthy of note. The negotiations were to take place between Israel and her Arab neighbors and nowhere does the identity of Newt Gingrich’s Palestinians as an “invented” people or “terrorists” enter the equation. There is also a distinction between General Assembly Resolutions , which are only recommendations and, therefore, do not create international legal obligations.

Bernie Sanders too often has justified and accepted individuals who are undoubtedly anti-Semites. Well known psychiatrist-author Kenneth Levin has made a study of the psychology of Jews who embrace their enemies. He has observed that “Those of the Jewish community who live and work in environments hostile to Israel, commonly embrace the anti-Israel bias around them, And they often insist they are being virtuous by doing so.”

Levin notes the phenomenon of Diaspora Jews embracing as truth the indictments of Jew-haters has been so commonplace that a literature on the subject emerged under the rubric “Jewish self-hatred”. Israeli essayist Aharon Megged, observed in 1994 “We have witnessed—an emotional and moral identification by the majority of Israel’s intelligentsia, and its print and electronic media, with people committed to our annihilation.” Sanders, no doubt would find this pleasing.

Bernie Sanders, until recently, said little about his Jewishness. He now realizes that there is a significant segment of American Jewry who could identify with him. His encounters with Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortago, Cuba and Nicaragua brings to mind a piece of Jewish wisdom; “Those who are kind to the cruel, in the end will be cruel to the kind.”

He has gained the support of Muslim radicals Linda Sasour, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, leftist Latino Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other leftist extremists. Some are referred to as surrogates. No matter, Bernie Sanders, can readily explain away his own brand of racism, while leveling accusations of racism by others. Justification follows in his own words:

“To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right-wing, racist governments that currently exist in Israel,” drawing applause from his audience.

He feels “strongly about it [his positions] as someone who is Jewish and knowing how much our people have suffered over the years,” adding that American foreign policy in the region should be “about bringing the Israelis, bringing the Palestinians together under the banner of justice.”

He critizes Netanyahu’s approach toward the Palestinians as “oppressive” and said Israel is “now run by a right-wing — dare I say — racist government.” In mid-1960 he spent several months on Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim in northern Israel, a hard core left wing organization.

In the words of Lev Stesin, a founding member of San Francisco Voice for Israel:

“He is Trotsky riding his military train through the Russian steppe, only to be suddenly transported through time and space into present-day America. The train’s gear may be lost but the message and the fervent pitch of the Red Army commander is still intact.

He is a living encyclopedia of all the most catastrophic decisions made by Jews. It is sad and fascinating how Churchill never comes back from the dead, but Trotsky does.

I am angry with him because even after spending his entire life talking about the good and defending the evil he is still unable to see the truth. And after millions of innocents slaughtered, he is unable to admit even one mistake.”

And finally, from Seth Mandel, executive editor of the Washington Examiner:
“Bernie Sanders has made history – as a Jew. But he’ll be the last one to say so, because when socialism actually triumphs, the revolution is not beautiful, it is not quiet, it is not gentle. And it is never good for the Jews.”

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.