Did ‘Hashomer Hatzair’ shape Sanders’s views on socialism and Israel?

US Politics
on 62 Comments

Can you find young Bernie Sanders, who may be in this 1964 picture from his time on Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim, posted by JTA‘s Ron Kampeas? (Click through for Kampeas’s guess.)

Since sleuths last week identified the kibbutz, which Sanders long refused to name, the Vermont senator has been attacked from the right because of the supposedly Stalinist ideology of Hashomer Hatzair, which founded the kibbutz and hosted Sanders there. The attack is a joke: young American Jews who belonged to socialist Zionist youth movements like Hashomer in the 1960s varied in their level of ideological commitment (some were dedicated, others just enjoyed the camps and group chevrah, or spirit) but none were in thrall with the Soviets by Bernie Sanders’s time.

But for many members, especially in those days, Zionist youth movements like Hashomer Hatzair weren’t just side-activities. For those who became leaders, it was (and is) an all-encompassing experience involving summer camps, weekly meetings in the city (Bernie’s Brooklyn was a stronghold for Hashomer and other groups like Habonim), eventual graduation to camp counselor and youth leader. For older kids, there were kibbutz summers and year programs. There were songs, folk dances, discussions, trips, plays, and lessons in planning activities. For the more active and dedicated members, the experience could be formative — far more than schools, synagogues or even family.

Hashomer Hatzair logo. Hebrew means, Be Strong and Brave

Hashomer Hatzair logo. Hebrew means, Be Strong and Brave

The Forward’s Ben Sales speculates on the life of a kibbutz volunteer such as Sanders in early ’60s. But the group photo above suggests Bernie wasn’t just a simple volunteer, but a member of an organized group trip. Hashomer’s year program (no one in those days would have used the Britishism “gap year”) is now (and may have been then) called Shnat Hachshara, “year of training.” Now it’s offered to high school graduates taking a year before college, but in 1963? (Sanders was 22.)

Though the precise dates of Sanders’s time on Sha’ar Ha’amakim haven’t been reported, it’s well known he joined Dr. Martin Luther King’s march on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. (Possibly with a contingent of Hashomer chaverim down from New York, including several who were about to depart with him for Israel?) The dates of both 1963 and 1964 that have been mentioned for his Israel stay would be consistent with joining a program that started in September, as they typically do.

Did Bernie Sanders see any irony in marching with Dr. King to protest segregation, then going to live on a segregated kibbutz in Israel?

While no one on Sha’ar Ha’amakim may remember Bernie Sanders nor have kept records of his visit, if he took part in “Shnat” or a precursor program, it’s likely North American Hashomer Hatzair would have the information, and that many others on the program with Sanders would remember it well.

So as the political world ponders the true essence of Sanders’s well-concealed foreign policy views it would be interesting to know a few answers:

  • Was Bernie Sanders on Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim as part of a Hashomer Hatzair leadership training program?
  • Did Bernie Sanders, in fact, “grow up” in Hashomer Hatzair? Did he attend or work as a counselor at Camp Shomria? Was he a leader in its Brooklyn ken (chapter)? Did he give thought to joining a gar’in (group of members who emigrate together to kibbutz)?
  • If so, how much of a role did his youth movement experience play in his current views?
  • And why doesn’t he want to talk about any of this?

Hashomer was far from “Stalinist,” but it was considered at the far edge of ideological consistency compared to other left-leaning Zionist youth movements like Habonim, in which I was a leader in the 1970s. (We were socialist too, but less rigidly — you could say we played Abbie Hoffman to Hashomer’s Jerry Rubin.) It was from a ’70s Hashomer member I first heard the term “politically correct” — aspirationally more than mockingly. No one could be an active member or leader, committed to the point of joining the Israel year, and not be deeply imprinted by the experience. And anyone who did would very likely have strong, firsthand views on Israel and Palestine.

But many youth movement members I grew up with, and likely many from Hashomer, have settled in their later years into a familiar “progressive except for Palestine” stance, bemoaning Netanyahu but supporting Israel’s “right” to “defend” itself against a captive population in Gaza, as Sanders has done, sending their kids to the same camps and segregated kibbutzim — or to Birthright.

Sanders told Meet The Press yesterday that he takes advice from two-state true believers J Street and from James Zogby’s Arab American Institute. For this he was attacked today in the Free Beacon (which quoted Noah Pollak calling these groups “leading anti-Israel apologists for terrorism”). On the other side, Hashomer graduate A. Daniel Roth writes in the Forward urging Sanders to embrace his kibbutz past and, in the wake of the two-state solution’s death, the binational state for Palestinians and Jews that Hashomer formerly espoused in the decades before 1948.

But since Sanders dodges most questions about Middle East policy, the experiences that formed his beliefs would be even more enlightening than knowing who advises him.

About Peter Feld

Peter Feld is a writer, editorial consultant, market researcher and former political strategist at Democratic polling firms. He is @peterfeld on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.

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62 Responses

  1. Scott
    February 8, 2016, 9:03 pm

    Not that it’s central to your point, but am curious about your ideological distinction between Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, as if Rubin were further or more doctrinaire left. Missed that at the time, but I was just a kid. Rubin as I recall tried to become a yuppie entrepreneur, and Abbie died a rebel. (Is my memory correct on that?)

    • Peter Feld
      February 8, 2016, 9:45 pm

      It’s not strictly ideological: Abbie was the slapstick one who would stage stunts and sometimes say things that we’d now call politically incorrect, Jerry was more earnest and theoretical/ doctrinaire. But yes, Abbie stayed true to the cause and Rubin did become a yuppie entrepreneur. Ha ha, maybe my analogy holds since Jeffrey Goldberg was in Hashomer.

  2. Boomer
    February 8, 2016, 9:41 pm

    I would see no reason to hold his youthful activities against him, but it seems strange that he won’t talk about them. How can someone run for senator, much less President, and manage to avoid a significant part of his life? I guess the junior Geo. Bush did it, but we know why he did. Those who read the news carefully knew most of the truth about young GWB at the time of the election, or could if they wanted to. The contrast with his father’s youth was telling. The candidates deserve some privacy, but the electorate deserves to know things relevant to character of presidential candidates.

    • Peter Feld
      February 8, 2016, 9:47 pm

      If he were more enlightening about his views now, these formative experiences would be less critical to learn about. (Though in the case of someone running for president, early years will always have some relevance.)

      • Boomer
        February 9, 2016, 6:08 am

        “If he were more enlightening about his views now, these formative experiences would be less critical to learn about. (Though in the case of someone running for president, early years will always have some relevance.)”

        Yes, that’s true. One’s history includes relationships, as well as ideas, and both can have a continuing relevance, in one way or another.

        When I asked, “How can someone run for senator, much less President, and manage to avoid a significant part of his life?” it was a sincere question. On reflection, I realized that Israel is a special case. The pro-Zionist control of discourse in DC and media lets this happen. It’s the same dynamic that has given us so many PEP Democrats.

        I like a lot of what Bernie says. I don’t see anyone better on the horizon for 2016, but I think we are entitled (obliged) to assume that he is no friend of Palestinians.

      • Peter Feld
        February 9, 2016, 7:50 am

        Boomer I appreciate your reply. I’ve reached a point where I’ve decided I can’t support someone who’s no friend of Palestinians simply because they’re better. I’m grossed out by Hillary but am taking a pass on Sanders (I think Hillary is the guaranteed outcome, so feel ok opting out) partly because he refuses to challenge her dreadful pro-war record. I really do think that if Bernie has deep Israel ties from a youth movement background it could help explain why he does this, I hope some reporter will pursue the story.

  3. kalithea
    February 8, 2016, 10:37 pm

    @ Annie

    Regarding minute 26:07

    You replied:

    he doesn’t pretend to not to know what Zionist means, he’s asked ‘do you view yourself as a zionist speaking of israel’ and says “what does that mean [meaning what does that question mean] — wanna define what the word means? do i think israel has a right to exists, yes i do. “ –

    The question is perfectly straightforward: Do you view yourself as a Zionist…? When someone answers a simple yes or no question with a question; they’re evading the truth.

    When someone replaces the question with a question that removes the negative from the equation, in this case, Zionist ; they’re whitewashing reality.

    The question or answer that includes: Israel has a right to exist is a hasbara rationale for Zionist supremacist ideology. I would counter his question with: Do bigotry, oppression, occupation and ethnic cleansing have a right to exist? Because that’s what Zionism is and that’s what Israel supports. Israel stands for Zionism; therefore supports all of these; therefore Israel is Zionism and all the crimes of Zionism.

    Bernie knows exactly what Zionism is. He knows exactly what a Zionist is. But in order to dodge being labelled a Zionist he answers a simple question with a hasbara exculpatory rationale.

    It’s analogous to Clinton’s evasion of the truth: That depends on what the definition of is is? Meaning, let me wiggle my way out of being shamed; let me deflect: in Clinton’s case with a brain teaser; a silly ambiguous riddle; in Bernie’s case hasbara.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 8, 2016, 10:50 pm

      i’ll repeat, i disagree w/you regarding the pretend factor. even norm finkelstein who did his dissertation on zionism won’t define the term if you ask him. it means different things to different people. so as it pertains to the job he’s running for he put forth the information that was relevant (“do i think israel has a right to exists, yes i do.”).

      but sanders prefacing the “yes i do” w/ ““what does that mean — wanna define what the word means? doesn’t mean he’s pretending not to know what the word means. it means ‘what are you really asking me and by what definition are you using?’

      btw, i don’t define myself as an anti zionist. so if someone were to ask me — ‘are you an anti zionist’ and i said ‘define what the word means? do i think israel has a right to exist, no i do not‘ it doesn’t mean i am pretending not to know what it means. it means i am cutting to the chase and telling you what i think is relevant without delving into reasons why i don’t define myself as an anti zionist.

      you can have the last word, i am done.

      • Kris
        February 8, 2016, 11:18 pm

        Annie, slightly off topic, but this is really funny, and it sounds as if you could use a laugh:

      • kalithea
        February 9, 2016, 2:01 am

        Okay, maybe it’s not like he’s pretending not to know, but it is dodging the question as it was asked.

        In reference to Zionism:

        It means different things to different people.

        It might within the individual limitations of people’s minds insofar as insecurities, indoctrination, ego, hopes etc, but time and reality always end up with the correct, honest, uncluttered definition; so I’ll defer to that one: it’s a crime against humanity perpetrated by entitled supremacists.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 9, 2016, 12:55 pm

        kris, that’s a hilarious video!

        kalithea — i agree he dodged the question. frankly, i don’t know if he does considers himself a zionist.

    • echinococcus
      February 9, 2016, 1:07 am

      Kalithea,

      In fact, it’s not even an evasion: when asked if you are a Zionist and you are informed enough and you belong to the “there are many definitions of Zionism” school of Zionism, to say “Israel has a right to exist” is an unequivocal yes (when heard by Zionists) that has the added advantage of slithery deniability later on (when confronted to anti-Zionists.)

      • kalithea
        February 9, 2016, 2:33 am

        Exactly; it’s dishonest not to define Zionism as reality and time defined it and cruel not to accept this definition as the truth.

        If Zionists had started their definition with: I’m humane first and Jewish second; then this definition would have persisted, but that wasn’t the case.

        So in the end Zionists engineered Zionism’s assured demise.

      • eljay
        February 9, 2016, 8:15 am

        Question: Are you a rapist?

        Non-answer: What does ‘rapist’ even mean? Do I enjoy the company of women? Yes, I do.

      • Boomer
        February 10, 2016, 6:55 am

        re eljay: “Do I enjoy the company of women? Yes, I do.”

        Sounds like Bill Cosby. Or Bill Clinton.

        I suppose this rhetorical trick, or tic, has been around for ages, but I think Don Rumsfeld deserves some credit for making it ubiquitous.

      • eljay
        February 10, 2016, 7:52 am

        || Boomer: … I suppose this rhetorical trick, or tic, has been around for ages, but I think Don Rumsfeld deserves some credit for making it ubiquitous. ||

        That guy was pure evil.

    • Eric
      February 9, 2016, 2:10 pm

      Q: Are you a thief?
      A: What does that mean — do I condone stealing another people’s land and then oppressing them for 68 years? Yes I do! And so do most of my colleagues in the Senate…

      • Boomer
        February 10, 2016, 7:00 am

        re: ” do [you] condone stealing another people’s land and then oppressing them for 68 years?”

        Has any reporter ever asked any politician that question?

      • eljay
        February 10, 2016, 7:47 am

        || Boomer: Has any reporter ever asked any politician that question? ||

        Not sure, but the reply would be comprised of some combination of the following propaganda points:
        – ancient and/or eternal homeland of the Jewish people
        – exile of the Jewish people
        – praying for 2000 years to return / “next year in Jerusalem!”
        – the Holocaust
        – anti-Semitism / Jew hatred
        – self-(self-)determination
        – world’s only “Jewish State”
        – it’s not oppression, it’s self-defence

  4. echinococcus
    February 9, 2016, 1:28 am

    Is there so much to discuss? If we discussed in the abstract, without naming a particular person, the idea of selling oneself as a pig in a poke for a presidential election everybody here would be rolling on the floor.
    How can any presidential candidate not start at the very start by exposing in the most abundant detail his/her past with regard to things as damning (for some) or strongly approved (for others) as participation in the Zionist youth movement, hisher thought and development along the years, and much more importantly past actions and future program regarding foreign policy, fecryinoutloud? And expect to still be considered a candidate for any job of that importance? That he is getting away with this tells us a lot about the desperate need for irrational belief among the “liberals”.

    • Boomer
      February 10, 2016, 6:46 am

      re: ” If we discussed in the abstract, without naming a particular person, the idea of selling oneself as a pig in a poke for a presidential election everybody here would be rolling on the floor. . . . That he is getting away with this [and has done so ever since he entered politics] tells us a lot about the desperate need for irrational belief among the ‘liberals’.”

      Yes, it tells us that, and the amazing control of public discourse and public policy that the Zionists have had–and continue to have–in this country.

  5. Dan
    February 9, 2016, 7:09 am

    “But the group photo above suggests Bernie Sanders wasn’t just a simple “kibbutz volunteer,” but a member of an organized group trip”

    How does it suggest that? You don’t even know if Sanders in in the picture. Do you know who the young people in the picture are? Are they from HH? There were many volunteers in those days, not all were members of HH,many non Jews from Europe also. If fact, all that is known at this point, to my knowledge, is that Sanders spent some time on a Kibbutz, for a few months I’ve read, although I don’t know how accurate that report was. Do you even know if he was actually a member of HH.?

    • Peter Feld
      February 9, 2016, 7:56 am

      He’s fairly recognizable in the dark sweater, skinny guy near the right-middle of the top row, I left that out to not spoil it. The pic is from the kibbutz he is confirmed to have been on during the year he was there, click through to Twitter (Kampeas link) to see the discussion there. Beyond that, I’m just asking reasonable questions the press should pursue.

      • italian ex-pat
        February 9, 2016, 7:38 pm

        Yes, I think that’s him. The shape of the chin, rather unusual.

  6. Citizen
    February 9, 2016, 7:20 am

    I’ve noticed nobody asks, “Do you believe Israel has an unconditional right to exist?” Or “at all costs?” Untempered Zionism is similar to untempered socialism or untempered capitalism in this respect, yes or no?

    • echinococcus
      February 10, 2016, 12:41 am

      Citizen,

      Zionism by its minimal, necessary requirements is invasion, occupation, tribal/racial supremacy over the natives, and the theft of land and sovereignty –already in the late 19th century, except if performed on the South pole. Go temper that! Impossible. That’s why all attempts to put a human face on that horror always sound so awkward and slimy.

    • Boomer
      February 10, 2016, 6:49 am

      “Do you believe Israel has an unconditional right to exist?” has, for as long as I can remember, been used as a way to end all discussion of any moral or other concerns regarding I/P. No need for Zionists to worry about anything when they can just say that.

  7. Liz
    February 9, 2016, 9:36 am

    A lot of young people joined Zionist, Socialist movements for the social reasons more than the ideological ones. As Feld states, I too, know a lot of people who I went to Jewish camp with who are “progressive except Palestine.” But there are others too, who attended because of the friendships they had. A lot of the young people I knew at camp didn’t understand that they were being indoctrinated into a Zionist ethos. As someone who survived Jonestown said, “You don’t set out to join a cult.”

  8. Joel Beinin
    February 9, 2016, 10:45 am

    I was a member and leader of Hashomer Hatzair in Queens and Brooklyn, NY in the 1960s. Bernie Sanders was not a member and did not go to Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha-Amakim with a group organized by Hashomer Hatzair. Neither did he go to the March on Washington with a group of members of Hashomer Hatzair. Several of us did go. No one in my circle knew Bernie and there was no Hashomer Hatzair branch in Chicago at that time.

    We were certainly socialists. We were NOT Stalinists. The movement was embarrassed about its embrace of Stalin until the arrest of its emissary, Mordechai Oren, in Prague in December 1951 and his subsequent trial. Even though I was head of the Queens branch and a national leader in the late 1960s, I didn’t know anything of the Stalinist orientation of the movement in the 1940s until I researched my book, Was the Red Flag Flying There? The Stalinist trend in Hashomer Hatzair also had, by far, the best approach to the Palestinian question in the Zionist movement, in large measure due to the tireless work of Aharon Cohen, the head of its Arab Department in the 1940s and early 1950s.

    Aharon Cohen was a prominent member of Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha-Amakim when Bernie was there and one of the leading Stalinist advocates in the movement until 1952. He was later convicted of “unauthorized contact with a foreign (Soviet) agent.” Essentially a frame up. That may be why Bernie isn’t anxious to identify with the kibbutz.

    • echinococcus
      February 10, 2016, 12:51 am

      by far, the best approach to the Palestinian question in the Zionist movement, in large measure due to the tireless work of Aharon Cohen, the head of its Arab Department…

      The “best” approach to colonial invasion by a band of illegally infiltrated armed invaders would logically come from a head of the Natives Department in charge of controlling and suppressing the aboriginals. Makes a lot of sense.

    • Peter Feld
      February 10, 2016, 11:54 am

      Thank you Joel for the interesting background, I was hoping this post would bring forward good answers from people who would know…if you see this I’d love your thoughts on how Bernie ended up going “as a guest of Hashomer” (according to the Forward) without having known Hashomer people in NYC. (Maybe from college in Chicago?) Do you think that photo is just a group shot of American volunteers? And doesn’t that picture look like a posed photo such as groups usually take at the start or end of a program? The other info on the kibbutz is also fascinating & I’ll look into your book.

  9. Sibiriak
    February 9, 2016, 12:38 pm

    Peter Feld: it would be interesting to know a few answers:

    Was Bernie Sanders on Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim as part of a Hashomer Hatzair leadership training program?

    Did Bernie Sanders, in fact, “grow up” in Hashomer Hatzair? Did he attend or work as a counselor at Camp Shomria? [ETC.]
    ———————–

    I may be in the minority here, but I’m not particularly interested in answers those kinds of questions, fascinating as the subject matter might be (what was the life of a counselor at Camp Shomria like?).

    I want full details on his current foreign policy views– general principles, specific policies–and the kind of people he is likely to appoint to key positions.

    • Kathleen
      February 9, 2016, 1:11 pm

      If he were to look to the Leveretts for foreign policy advice I would push even harder for Bernie. I tell you Colorado is batty for Bernie. So many people out canvassing, calling, etc etc. Young and old. If you look on the Bernie campaign page and look at the events page the list of activities for Bernie is off the charts.

      I have run and assisted in running GOTV campaigns in University towns and blue collar neighborhoods back in the just paper and some computer campaign days. Tough to get volunteers at times. Nof for Bernie..people of all ages coming out of the woodwork.

      Amazing the enthusiasm

      • echinococcus
        February 10, 2016, 12:59 am

        Kathleen,

        What, in all that, indicates that Sanders is not a Zionist (as indicated instead by the available evidence and his endless dissimulation) or that his action re Palestine policy (consistently dodged or dissimulated) would change radically, in order to become any different than the current one of the US government, and in which points? Thank you in advance for answering.

      • Kathleen
        February 12, 2016, 10:45 pm

        Ech not sure whether Bernie is a Zionist or not. However we know Hillary is. We know she is a deadly warmonger I think Bernie is by far the more reasonable of the two candidates on domestic and international issues.

    • Peter Feld
      February 10, 2016, 11:57 am

      Sibirak – thanks. I agree his current views are the most important to know, but it’s pretty natural if someone reaches the point of being a leading candidate for president that his bio and formative experiences would be researched, similar to the way Obama and Clinton’s early years are profiled. See Joel Beinin’s comment above though, it seems he wasn’t in Hashomer prior to going on kibbutz.

  10. HRK
    February 9, 2016, 12:47 pm

    (Very) tangential comment about socialism. A while back someone here once wrote about going to some sort of elite prep school (was it in Baltimore?). Not having the benefit of having gone to such a school (yet possessing a curious mind nonetheless, despite my modest upbringing!), I availed myself of the opportunity to visit the school’s website at which I read over the school’s newspaper. And I found that seemingly all the kids in this elite, well-heeled school were socialists. In my humble view, this more than anything else is a very good reason not to be a socialist.

    What is it with trust fund babies and socialism? Is life some sort of joke to them? They’re so rich they get to play around with movements: “I’ve always subscribed to socialism. . . .”

    This seems so unfair. Rich trust fund babies shouldn’t be socialists. They just shouldn’t. It’s too much like a concrete instance of the saying the rich keep getting richer. So not only are they (literally) rich, but they’re metaphysically and existentially rich because they can come across as “enlightened.” And when the revolution comes, there they’ll be: A wave to us. “Hi!”

    I prefer rich people to self-segregate: Polo wear, Nantucket embroidery, the entire works. That’s the only way we can keep them under control, really.

  11. Kathleen
    February 9, 2016, 1:05 pm

    There is no way Bernie can expose exactly what he feels about Zionism or what Israel has and continues to do today. So unlikely to happen. Although he has gone out on a tiny edge in the past

    “Sanders offered support for Jackson’s position, and went further when asked about Israeli treatment of Palestinians during the first intifada (uprising against the occupation). “The sight of Israeli soldiers breaking the arms and legs of Arabs is reprehensible. The idea of Israel closing down towns and sealing them off is unacceptable,” Sanders said.

    “The United States of America is pouring billions of dollars into arms and into other types of aid in the Middle East. Has the United States of America used its clout, the tremendous clout that it has by providing all kinds of aid to the Middle East, to demand that these countries sit down and talk about a reasonable settlement which will guarantee Israel’s sovereignty, which must be guaranteed, but will begin to deal with the rights of Palestinian refugees,” said Sanders.

    A reporter asked if Sanders was asking the United States to impose sanctions. He said he wasn’t, but did say that “you have the ability when you are the United States of America, which is supporting the armies of the Middle East, to demand that these people sit down and support a reasonable settlement.”

    “Or else what?” asked another reporter.

    “Or else you cut off arms,” suggested Sanders. “If the United States goes into the Middle East and demands a reasonable, a responsible, and a peaceful solution to the conflict that has gone there because of its clout because of the tremendous amounts of money that it is pouring into that region I think we can do it.”

    Watch the full exchange:”
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_backstory_on_bernie_sanders_and_israel-palestine_20151012

    • JWalters
      February 9, 2016, 6:20 pm

      Good points and good link. I’d add that Bernie was the FIRST Senator to announce he was boycotting Netanyahu’s “more war” speech to Congress, playing a brave leadership role there in a very good direction. He starkly contrasts with Hillary’s BFF relationship with Bibi, and is much more in line with Obama on this crucial issue of war and peace. He also recently named J Street and the Arab American Institute as organizations whose views he considers on foreign affairs. This too is brave leadership in the American political community.

      And thinking about my own case, did the church I attended as a youth shape my views? Absolutely not. I rejected that church, and my views were shaped by observing and thinking for myself. Other people can expose us to ideas, but they cannot control our conclusions. Bernie is telling us his conclusions. I seen no reason to disbelieve him.

  12. Kay24
    February 10, 2016, 4:42 am

    This may be why Chris Matthews made a very private trip to Israel, and why he shows support for Hillary. It is all about those shekels.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/09/hillary-donors-helping-chris-matthews-wife-into-congress/

  13. jon s
    February 10, 2016, 5:30 am

    If Senator Sanders was a member of Hashomer Hatzair – it’s entirely to his credit.
    Many young people were attracted to the movement, which offered an idealistic combination of what was seen as two revolutions,Zionism and socialism. By the 1960s the HH had gotten over it’s Stalinist tendencies, and the bi-national state concept was also considered irrelevant.

    I suppose I could say -full disclosure- that I owe my life to Hashomer Hatzair: it’s where my parents (of blessed memory) met! Their experiences in the movement shaped much of their outlook for the rest of their lives, and I know that that’s true for many former members. So it could be true for Sanders as well.

    • Mooser
      February 10, 2016, 11:20 am

      “it’s where my parents (of blessed memory) met!”

      Patsh zich in tuchis und schrei “hooray”

      Go clean the hemoglobin off your sneakers, settler.

    • John O
      February 10, 2016, 11:30 am

      “If Senator Sanders was a member of Hashomer Hatzair – it’s entirely to his credit.”

      Did you not read Joel Beinin’s earlier comment? “I was a member and leader of Hashomer Hatzair in Queens and Brooklyn, NY in the 1960s. Bernie Sanders was not a member and did not go to Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha-Amakim with a group organized by Hashomer Hatzair.”

      • Annie Robbins
        February 10, 2016, 11:41 am

        i wondered if prof beinin was a member and leaders during the entirety of the 60’s.

      • John O
        February 10, 2016, 12:29 pm

        @Annie

        Yes, it did occur to me that there was ambiguity in Joel Beinin’s statement. But the implication is that at no time in the 1960s was Sanders a member. Otherwise he could have said something along the lines of “to the best of my knowledge” or “during my time”.

      • jon s
        February 11, 2016, 7:53 am

        I didn’t say that he had been a member, I wrote “if”.
        There are two apparent facts:

        Sha’ar Ha’amakim is a Hashomer Hatzair kibbutz.
        Sanders spent time there in the early 1960s.

        Is that positive proof that he was a member of the movement? I suppose not. I really don’t know.

  14. echinococcus
    February 10, 2016, 7:16 am

    “Many young people were attracted to the movement, which offered an idealistic combination of what was seen as two revolutions”, red-washing and genocide. “By the 1960s the HH had” finally gotten the message that socialism and triumphant nationalism do not mix, even in propaganda, and dropped the pretense (but forgot to copy John S.) “the bi-national state concept was also considered irrelevant” by the Zionists –it had been that always with the Palestinians, who own the sovereignty over all of Palestine anyway.

    “I suppose I could say -full disclosure- that I owe my life to Hashomer Hatzair: it’s where my parents (of blessed memory) met!” This may be a cause of merriment to your good self, while the sentiment of the restricted portion of a wider public may well be different.

    “Their experiences in the movement shaped much of their outlook for the rest of their lives, and I know that that’s true for many former members. So it could be true for Sanders as well.” How right you are, John S. Regardless of the ultimate cause, Sanders is a goddam Zionist according to all evidence and must be run out of town along with all the rest of the bunch.

  15. ritzl
    February 10, 2016, 11:08 am

    Is Sanders a citizen of a foreign country? Any foreign country.

    Are any other presidential candidates citizens of any foreign country or even remotely in a position to be considered to be/accused of same?

    Because of Israel’s aggressive uniqueness in this area, Sanders needs to answer this question.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 10, 2016, 11:14 am

      why would you think he would be a citizen of a foreign country?

      and don’t you think someone in israel would be screaming it from the rooftops if he was?

      • ritzl
        February 10, 2016, 11:29 am

        Because Israel can and/or does and/or has been known to confer citizenship to Jews who visit Israel automatically. I think that is a unique situation worthy of a question.

        And no I do NOT think factions in Israel would say a peep if he was for the same reason Sanders isn’t open about his time there. It would elevate, legitimate, and broaden the dual-loyalty issue.

      • ritzl
        February 10, 2016, 11:31 am

        I believe, Annie, that all dual citizens in the SES and elected should declare.

      • echinococcus
        February 10, 2016, 5:15 pm

        Annie,

        Of course the Zionist entity would keep such a citizenship as secret as they can. And they can.
        They’re crazy but not stupid.
        As for Sanders, he already stated last year that he doesn’t have any other citizenship but US. In the absence of evidence to the contrary he should have the benefit of the doubt.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 10, 2016, 5:34 pm

        evidence to the contrary he should have the benefit of the doubt.

        i should hope so. for heaven’s sakes!

      • Kris
        February 10, 2016, 8:17 pm

        @ritzl: “Because Israel can and/or does and/or has been known to confer citizenship to Jews who visit Israel automatically.”

        Now I feel really worried. What if Israel has conferred citizenship on me? I visited Palestine when I was a child. I’m not Jewish, but maybe in selected cases this wouldn’t matter. How horrible to think that I could be an Israeli citizen. I probably won’t be able to sleep at all tonight. I may go insane, like Lady Macbeth.

        Apparently Israel is like the Mormons in this way, inducting people into the fold whether they agree to it or not. The Mormons mean it in a kindly way, but I’m afraid that with Israel, it represents the kiss of death.

      • YoniFalic
        February 10, 2016, 8:54 pm

        As far as I know, if one is a member of of an eligible category under the Law of Return, one can request immigrant status upon arrival and in most cases become a citizen almost immediately.

      • echinococcus
        February 10, 2016, 11:46 pm

        Kris,

        The bestowing of Zionist entity citizenship on a Zionist kid coming for a longish stay in an pioneer-invader collective would not be involuntary. That would be one elephant too many to swallow with the Zionist-friendly record.
        No need for joking about insomnia, either. The possibility is very high and there is no accessible documentation, just a very reluctant statement.

      • RoHa
        February 11, 2016, 4:35 am

        Kris, you say you are not Jewish, but can you really be sure about that?

        You note that Mormons Mormonize dead people regardless of whether those dead people want to be Mormons or not, and we also know that dead ex-Jews can be re-Jewed. (Spinoza is the classic example. He was expelled from the fold when he was young, but now that he is famous and admired he has been reclaimed. His consent was not required for either operation.)

        Is it possible that these sort of powers can extend further, so that a living Non-Jew can be made into a Jew without notice or consent? It seems extreme, but I cannot see any logical reason to deny the possibility.

        So not only might you be an unwitting Israeli, you might actually be an Israeli Jew. There’s a disquieting thought for you.

      • YoniFalic
        February 11, 2016, 8:59 am

        The Israeli immigration authorities are often quite nasty.

        http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/.premium-1.702656

        Kodrashova and her nephews would be much better off to leave Israel for Russia as at least 25% of all post-Soviet Russian immigrants have done.

      • YoniFalic
        February 11, 2016, 9:03 am

        Here is another interesting (and cruel) citizenship case.

        http://www.haaretz.com/s-y-agnon-s-relatives-the-e-jerusalem-nashashibis-1.192286

    • RoHa
      February 10, 2016, 11:23 am

      “Is Sanders a citizen of a foreign country? Any foreign country.”

      Yes, as far as I can tell, he is a citizen of a foreign country, and specifically a citizen of the United States. I have never seen any suggestion that he is an Australian and not a foreigner. Indeed, if he were Australian, he would not be eligible to be President of the U.S.

      • jon s
        February 11, 2016, 8:00 am

        Israel does not confer automatic citizenship to Jews or anyone else who come for a visit.
        Phil and Adam and millions of tourists can attest to that.
        Kris, no need to panic.

    • ritzl
      February 10, 2016, 7:42 pm

      Thanks echinococcus. I hadn’t seen that he stated that plainly. I’ll look it up.

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