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Did Bernie just steal Joe’s crown last night

  • Sanders - bernie HOME
The question on Jewish lips around the Jewish world today, is whether Bernie Sanders just steal Joe Lieberman’s Jewish crown as the pre-eminent US politician? After all, Bernie Sanders became the first Jewish candidate to win a presidential primary last night – so maybe he’ll start getting the Joe Lieberman treatment. Read how Trump could be the only one in a three-man race with Jewish grandchildren who go to an Orthodox shul.
by ANT KATZ with AMI EDEN | Feb 10, 2016

Back in 2000, Al Gore’s decision to tap Lieberman as his running mate set off what felt like a months-long national bar mitzvah bash. But the party - and all the speculation about a Shabbat-observant, kosher-keeping vice president - proved premature.

It was, of course, the closest call in living memory and the court cases dragged on for weeks before a winner was announce - thanks in part to confused elderly Jewish voters in Palm Beach County.

Sanders - bernieA presidential bid in 2004 by Lieberman totally flopped in the primaries.

Who would have thought that there would still have been room for a Jewish challenger holding onto his strong lead and winning the New Hampshire primary? Well, he did.

Of course, Lieberman wore his Judaism like a kippa, proudly putting his faith front and centre while embracing the role of religious trailblazer and Jewish role-model.


Bernie Sanders, Pictured right, is different

Not to say Sanders is trying to pass: When asked, he says he’s proud of his background, and he occasionally invokes his Jewishness on his own. But generally, the Vermont senator seems uncomfortable with efforts to place a Jewish frame on his candidacy.

The result is that Lieberman comes off as the more-Jewish political figure — even though the overwhelming majority of American Jews are more like Sanders in terms of their secular Jewish identity and, in many cases, their politics.

While plenty of Jews and Jewish organizations took pride in Lieberman’s nomination in 2000, his spirited defence of a greater role for religion in the public square flew in the face of decades of Jewish activism and anxiety over a lowering of the church-state wall. Similarly, while Lieberman’s vocal support of the Iraq War made him a hero in some Jewish circles, polls showed his hawkish views were out of step with the majority of American Jews.

Pundits say Sanders’ most dramatic Jewish moment in the campaign came during a rally in Virginia in October during an exchange with a hijab-wearing senior. She identified herself as “an American Muslim student who aspires to change this world” and complained about the “rhetoric that’s going on in the media.”

Sanders’ response: He hugged her and said, “Let me be very personal here if I might. I’m Jewish. My father’s family died in concentration camps. I will do everything that I can to rid this country of the ugly stain of racism, which has existed for far too many years.”

Sanders’ comments echoed one of the most publicly Jewish moments of the other possible contender for first Jewish president, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Back during the fight over whether to allow a Muslim community centre to open near Ground Zero, Bloomberg passionately defended the project, a stance his confidantes linked to his parents’ encounter with anti-Semitism and that Bloomberg himself later connected to the protection of Jewish religious rights.

If Sanders and Bloomberg share what remains the leading brand of American Jewish identity — a mix of religious ambivalence and ethnic pride — they reflect distinctly different trends in American Jewish political attitudes:

  • As a self-described democratic socialist, Sanders is a throwback to the first half of the 20th century, when the Jewish street embraced a leftism fixated on economic issues.
  • Bloomberg reflects the Jewish rise up the socioeconomic ladder and an evolving brand of liberalism focused more on social issues, like abortion and minority rights.

Sanders is uncompromising in his attacks on the banks but seeks compromise with gun advocates; Bloomberg defends Wall Street while waging war against the gun industry. So, whose politics will define the next stage of Jewish liberalism?

We could see a direct face-off, if Sanders somehow rides his historic New Hampshire win to the Democratic nomination and Bloomberg jumps in as an independent, as he has threatened to do.

If getting one’s head around a Jewish democratic socialist and a Jewish billionaire duking it out for the White House, just imagine if Donald Trump wins the Republican nod. That would make him the only one in the three-man race with Jewish grandchildren who go to an Orthodox shul.

9 Comments

  1. 9 nat cheiman 10 Feb
    Sanders will be bad for Jews and Israel. 
    Good for Islamic State and Hamas and Israels enemies.
    Trump or Cruz or Rubio, will probably win
  2. 8 HaroldT 12 Feb
    Of course Sanders is uncomfortable with his Jewishness - he is an apostate Jew.
    If he were elected, we would discover that he is also a Quisling Jew.
  3. 7 nat cheiman 14 Feb
    Sanders had breakfast with Rev Al Sharpton, the black New York (sorry, out - Moderator) who has led a couple of riots against Jewish business. He is a (sorry, out - Moderator)
    an opportunist. What does it say for Sanders who dined with him the mornung after New Hampshire? The Democrats are losers and Clinton also has ethical problems that beset her campaign.It time for the butt kickers to take over
  4. 6 nat cheiman 14 Feb
    Mr Moderator, why did you take out the words [removed]? It is common knowledge that Sharpton is an [removed]. It is not illegal to say that and if you were to google Sharpton, that is precisely what you will find. I prefer ANT  as a moderator. He knows what he is doing. You cannot silence COMMON KNOWLEDGE unless you have no knowlege what is right and what is wrong. I object strongly to your attempt to silence me on this issue.
    Hi Nat, I have heard Sharpton being given that moniker so I did Google it and found that, while there are plenty of references to it in personal writings and rag-tag journals - I could find no reference to any charge or conviction, only allegations. If you would like to try and substantiate your remark more adequately (in other words that you could convince a court of the veracity of it, I'm sure we would love to publish it!     ANT KATZ, online editor
  5. 5 nat cheiman 15 Feb
    Hi Ant. If you look at Wikipedia; Sharpton's history is there accurately for all to see; It is under the heading; "Crown Heights riot"; "Freddies fashion Mart". There are comments on Mormons, and the white race as well.
    Wikipedia can hardly be termed a "rag tag"or "personal writing".
    Moreover, you do not have to be convicted or charged with anti semitism to be known as an anti semite. Also, google "Jew hater knocked on his a** on television". Sharptons antics are not a secret here nor in America.
    ​Fair enough, Nat. Remember that it is not our job to fact-check - so if something could be spurious we rather err on the side of caution. Regards. Ant Katz
  6. 4 nat cheiman 15 Feb
    Thank you Ant, for your patience and consideration.
    I appreciate it
  7. 3 Sara M 16 Feb
    Who says Bernie is bad for Jews and Israel?

    Look what he did for Hanukkah observance http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3224239/jewish/Some-More-Info-on-Bernie-Sanders-and-Judaism-blog.htm

    He gets praised by Jews groups including The Republican Jewish coalition! http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/bernie-sanders-praised-jewish-groups-sides-aisle/story?id=36871289

    How about there be some balance? What specifically has Bernie done that is anti-Jewish?

    IMHO "Common knowledge" is tantamount to hearsay. In the USA public figures can't sue for libel unless they can prove malice. It results in some shocking things being perpetuated about them that are not based on fact or evidence. Its very different than any other country. Bottom line: don't believe everything you read. At worst I think people could brand Sharpron an opportunist, but I don't think he's a bad person.

    I'm not a Bernie supporter. I don't agree with his policies, but I know he's one of the good guys acting on the courage of his convictions.

  8. 2 nat cheiman 16 Feb
    I believe what I read in Wikipedia. Sharpton is a sharp practicing cowboy allegedly masquerading under the guise of a reverend. He once said to Jews "lets get it on. Come over to my place wearing your yarmulkas ". This was said to a Jew who tried to evict a black tennant who was delinquent with rental. There are allegations supported by Wikipedia, that Sharpton was responsible for 2 pogroms against Jewish businesses in Harlem. He is a pal of JesseJackson who is also purportedly a reverend. jackson refers to Jews as "Hymies".
    Sanders sits with Sharpton at breakfast. That is a disgrace . This is not hearsay. It is fact. If you sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas, as the saying goes. ( But not my dogs. They don't have fleas) 
  9. 1 Robert Horsch 15 Apr
    Really Nat?! You sound like a trump support or to me. I appreciate that Bernue eats breakfast with AL Sharpton, it shows he's willing to listen to all viewpoints and not dismiss a viewpoint based on stereotypes or hatred. I applaud Bernue Sanders and his campaign. They are doing things the right way. #feelthebern

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