As a literal Nazi supporter targets Sanders rally, the Jewish politician’s message to the world is crystal clear

Bernie Sanders
Ed Sykes

On 5 March, a Nazi waved a swastika flag in the middle of a Bernie Sanders rally. And a message from Sanders on the same day is the best response possible.

Sanders under attack

During the Holocaust, Nazis murdered six million Jewish people. In occupied Poland, that included the family of Sanders’ father. Now, Sanders is hoping to become the first Jewish president of the US. And this is clearly attracting the attention of modern-day Nazis:

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Sanders has previously received antisemitic death threats. And he has faced other apparent expressions of antisemitism too:

High-profile figures in the corporate media, meanwhile, have fuelled hostility to Sanders by ridiculously comparing him and his anti-racist supporters to the Nazis. Hard-right commentators have also accused Sanders of “deep-rooted anti-Semitism” and of being a Nazi.

This is reminiscent of the smear campaign against lifelong anti-racist Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, largely due to his criticism of Israeli state crimes against Palestinians. All because Sanders has dared to call Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu a “reactionary racist” and slam Israel lobbyists the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for links with “leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights”. And the pro-apartheid right has responded in kind.

As +972 Magazine states:

There is nothing radical about Bernie Sanders’ views on Israel, yet the American Jewish establishment seems bent on portraying the Democratic front-runner as an anti-Semite. …

the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful pro-Israel lobby, is helping to fund the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) to run attack ads on TV against Sanders…

the American Jewish press has, since Sanders’ first presidential campaign in 2016, run relentlessly negative coverage of the leading candidate.

Opponents of Sanders have also sought to portray him as a communist. There’s a long history of antisemites treating communism (and socialism) as a subversiveJewish plot“. Indeed, the Nazis tried to argue that “Marxism and Judaism were… two sides of the same coin”. And this “antisemitic trope” still persists today.

Sanders fights back

On the same day a Nazi interrupted his rally, Sanders released a strong message of unity against the far right. In a video, his campaign nailed why he deserves to become the first Jewish president in US history. As one Jewish supporter stresses, Sanders is:

going to stand up to the threats not just of [Donald] Trump but of white nationalism and of racism and hate.

Another adds that:

in his identity as a Jew, he sides with all other marginalised peoples. Bernie is the candidate who has been the most outspoken against the [Israeli] occupation [of Palestine]

And another argues that the US must replace Trump with a president “willing to stand up and speak truth to power… to actually look at every human being as an equal human being”. “That’s what Bernie offers,” he says.

This is a message progressives in the US and around the world can get behind. And as part of the battle against a resurgent fascism, we need to share this message far and wide.

Featured image via Gage Skidmore

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    1. 5.1million Jews according to Raul Hillberg, the expert in the field. And 500,000 Romanies and 2 and a half million Polish Catholics, many communists, socialists, trade unionists and don’t forget the disabled who the gas chambers were built for.
      What could be more ironic? This is what the “new anti-Semitism”, the idea that it is the liberal left that is intrinsically anti-Semitic, gets you. When you smear anti-racists like Corbyn as anti-Semitic you encourage the real racists to crawl from under their stones. Of course, the once odd melding of socialism and Zionism, always a matter of oil and water as the defining core of socialism is a belief in universal values and equality, is long gone and Zionism is now a right-wing creed. Hence we see Natanyahu shaking hands with men who would have been happy to comply with the Nazis.
      This is how Israel destroys itself. On the way, it shreds the democratic credentials of all those who refuse to face down Zionism. The US is hugely damaged by the attacks on Sanders and by its reflex support for Zionism. When Zionists bad-mouth a principled man like Sanders, they open the door to the fascists who would destroy them.

    2. The problem with 6 million [which I used to believe and I became an anti-Nazi because of it] is 6 million is a very large number. If we put it into context using inches as a measure, there are 63,360 inches to the mile. 1 million inches is 15.78 miles (which would take most of us five to six hours to walk past 1 million inches); and 6 million inches is 94.69 miles (which would take most of us four to five days to walk past 6 million inches). Yet we’re told that in four years the Nazis gassed and cremated nearly 6 million Jews after first finding burying the bodies was too labour intensive? All this in wartime?

      600,000 would be more believable but even then most difficult, but I guess that number wasn’t big enough for them. And the 6 million figure appeared in much earlier publications long before WWII.

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