Bernie Sanders’ Jewish Problem

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. gestures as he speaks during
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Bernie Sanders will likely in fact pay a price for supporting the linkage of American support for Israel to progress on the peace process, for dramatically overstating Palestinian casualties in the 2014 Gaza War, and for branding Israel’s responses to Palestinian violence as disproportionate.

According to the cross-tabs of the latest Quinnipiac Poll furnished to Breitbart, Jewish Democrats are backing the former Secretary of State by nine points, 49-40. By contrast, Clinton’s overall lead among white Democrats is a meager 50-45.

Apparently, being from Brooklyn won’t be enough to get Sanders to the finish line first ahead of Clinton. Sanders is down by 16 points in New York City and is getting trounced among Black Democrats by a whopping 37 percent. In a closed-primary state like New York, where cross-over voting is barred, Clinton’s overall 13 point advantage should prove to be insurmountable.

To be sure, Jewish Democrats do not appear to be enthusiastic about Clinton, but Sanders has done himself more harm than good by playing the Middle East Peace Card. In an op-ed that appeared in Haaretz, the left-leaning Israeli daily, the Reform movement’s Rabbi Eric Yoffie heaped critical praise upon Clinton by declaring that “Only Hillary Clinton Truly Understands What Being ‘pro-Israel’ Means.”

While Yoffie’s statement may make Republican presidential contenders cringe, it can’t be putting a smile on Sanders’ face either.  Nor should he have expected it.

This afternoon, the story broke that Sanders’ newly-hired Jewish Outreach Director, Simone Zimmerman, has taken a tough stance against Benjamin Netanyahu’s government but a soft-line toward the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

As Zimmerman framed things, “No public relations trick can save Israel’s image. The problem isn’t with the hasbara [public relations]. The problem is nearly 50 years of occupation. The problem is rampant racism in Israeli society. The problem is attacks on human rights defenders by extremists and by the state. The problem is a Jewish establishment that ignores or justifies all of this.”

With New York’s Jewish population growing ever more Orthodox, and Jews expected to comprise about one-in-six Democratic Primary votes, Sanders’ strategy appears less about winning and more about scoring debate points.

Not surprisingly, Sanders shows little indication of backing away from his position. Is it principled? Perhaps, but it doesn’t look like a winner in this political season. Meanwhile, the clock clicks down on Sanders, while Clinton grinds forward.


If the Democratic primary were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for whom would you vote?(If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Clinton orSanders?



Tot    Protestant   Catholic      Jewish


Clinton             53%   69%          59%           49%

Sanders             40    26           32            40

SMONE ELSE (VOL)      –     –            –             –

DK/NA                7     5            9            11







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