A Jewish high school student and Bernie Sanders supporter claims he was called a “terrorist sympathizer” by a fellow attendee at the Democratic National Convention, where he also witnessed the burning of the Israeli flag by left-wing protesters outside.
Shabbos Kestenbaum, a 17-year from the Bronx who attends high school in Riverdale, New York says he saw Palestinian flags being flown “high and proudly” on the floor of the Democratic National Convention, yet when he brought an Israeli flag into the convention hall, he says many attendees shunned him.
I was contacted by a rabbi to get into the convention for the sole purpose of flying the Israeli flag; both as a Jew and a fervent democrat. However, from when I first entered the arena with the flag tied to my back, I was given strange looks by many. Many people stared in shock and one even called me “terrorist sympathizer.”
Again, to be perfectly clear: I 100% believe the Democratic Party is one that strongly supports the Jewish state of Israel, but there seems to be a undeniably small and negligible but increasing faction that is reluctant to show support for the only democracy in the region. Having said that, the vast majority of comments I received were supportive and grateful, but there were outliers that made me uncomfortable, especially as I was able to finally get into the arena. Immediately, those in their seats turned their attention to me and it was clear the flag was a problem.
Unlike the hate crime hoaxers of the left, Kestenbaum provided Breitbart with evidence of his claims, including pictures of Palestinian flags in the convention hall, and of himself wearing an Israeli flag at the DNC. The burning of Israeli flags at the convention has been also been documented by multiple other outlets.
His claim to have been called a “terrorist sympathizer” is more difficult to prove, but given that the flag-burners were, according to multiple sources, chanting “long live the intifada,” it’s highly plausible. Accusing Israel – the only functioning democracy in the Middle East – of terrorism is also a popular argument of pro-Palestinians.
Protesters are burning an Israeli flag now in front of the secure perimeter and chanting "intifada" pic.twitter.com/6YfGHBhR6z
— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) July 27, 2016
Although he maintains that the Democratic party is a pro-Israel party, Kestenbaum, a lifelong Democrat, has had his political loyalties shaken.
I’ve always been a democrat and a staunch supporter of Israel. The past few days, I’ve seen Palestinian flags being flown high and proudly on the floor of the DNC, fringe protesters burning the Israeli flag (all the while calling for an eternal intifada) activists calling for a boycott of Israel on the DNC floor, and a party platform that initially, tried to label Israel an “occupier.”
As a proud Democrat and prouder Jew, I love my country and party and encourage those in it to eradicate the elements within our movement that are anti-Israel, anti-democratic, and frankly, anti-Semitic.