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Bernie Sanders and the Brooklyn dream

US Politics
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Brooklyn is the Jerusalem that works.

Evidence of its superior functionality was on display on Friday, when Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders returned to his Old Neighborhood in Brooklyn, a place home to both Muslims and Orthodox Jews, who live as much harmony with each other as anybody in New York City. The contender for the Democratic presidential nomination made the visit as he campaigns in New York ahead of an April 19 primary vote.

Unlike any other campaign this year, Sanders’ bid for the presidency has brought together and proved a powerful political common cause for American Muslims and Jews, who now volunteer side-by-side for his campaign as friends and colleagues. Many are members of Facebook groups like Muslims for Bernie, Jews for Bernie or Arabs for Bernie. Sanders has swept the Muslim vote in multiple states, part of a wider awakening of political activism among American Muslims and Arabs — from which Sanders has been the main beneficiary.

Bernie in Brooklyn

Bernie in Brooklyn (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

On Saturday, Sanders answered a question on Israel Palestine from a protester at the Apollo theater skeptical of Sanders relationship to Zionists and to Jews. The man, John Prince,

“You went to Israel for a year. As you know, Zionist Jews—I don’t mean to offend anybody—they running the Federal Reserve, they running Wall Street, they’re running everything. What is your relationship with your Jewish community?” Prince said, according to the Observer.

Sanders shook his finger, waiting to speak.

“Brother, brother, brother…” Sanders said. “No, no, no, no, no, that’s not what you’re asking. No that’s not what you’re asking. I’m proud to be Jewish,” Sanders said to applause.

“I am a strong defender of Israel, but I also believe that we have got to pay attention to the needs of the Palestinian people,” he said, to a long chorus of applaus and “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!”

“There are wonderful people — and I have met the — on both sides of that issue, and there are bad people on both sides of that issue. If we are going to bring peace, hopefully, God willing, in the Middle East, We’re going to have to treat both sides with respect and equality,” Sanders said.

The senator was expressing what common sense would suggest is a common sense way of negotiating a peace deal or a large Starbucks order. Nowadays, common sense sounds revolutionary.

Looking at Sanders’ neighborhood in 2016, it’s fitting that his campaign should be the matchmaker that makes this match. Mosques and synagogues are scattered across the borough, within just a few blocks of each other sometimes. Orthodox Jews pick up Yiddish newspapers at Yemeni-run bodegas. Women in hijab go jogging through Prospect Park as Hasidic families feed swans nearby. There’s no holy stone, sacred shrine or despised wall nearby that is the source of strain.

But for one rabbi, who tore up a Sanders sign after the Senator spoke, Sanders is a source of strain.

Rabbi Nachman Caller (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Rabbi Nachman Caller (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

“He’s an anti-semite! He hates Israel!” The white-bearded elder yelled out on 26th street as hundreds departed the scene of the speech. Several bystanders, also Orthodox, took photos as he tore up the sign theatrically. I also took photos. Other bystanders laughed or confronted the sign-destroyer with their own signs like “Welcome Home Bernie!”

The rabbi walked away and I followed him.

“Hi, sir, what’s your name?” I asked.

A yarmulke-wearing teen informed me it was pointless as the man strode away. “He’s not going to talk to you.” Because duh, idiot.

But a young Hasidic man, who appeared to be in his mid-20s, turned to me and told me what I’d wanted to know, and later confirmed with a google search.

“That’s Rabbi Nachman Caller,” the man, who wanted to be identified only as Baruch, told me. Caller, a lawyer, had been a figure in local politics.

Baruch likes Sanders, but he’s not a registered Democrat so he can’t vote this year in the state’s primary. He said that most other members of his community were skeptical of Sanders, or even hostile to his positions on Israel. The secular senator has said his religion boils down to the golden rule, more than observing the pentateuch.

“So obviously there’s no major love, especially not from Rabbi Caller,” Baruch explained.

Baruch has issues with the sometimes angry-sounding tone of Sanders campaign, but is by and large sympathetic to the candidate.

“We’re both Jewish, grew up in Brooklyn, went to Israel when we were young. I see myself in him,” Baruch said.

I proposed to him the notion of Brooklyn being better than Jerusalem. He agreed.

“We’ve got everybody! We’ve got hispanics, Muslims, Jews. And it’s flat. You’re not walking up and down hills all the time,” Baruch added.

But for the borough, the most important thing in 2016 is not nominating Sanders, but defeating Donald Trump, Baruch said.

“Trump is a bigot,” Baruch said. “He says he wants to ban all Muslims, but I believe he wants to execute all Muslims. That’s not what Brooklyn is about.”

The Jewish enclave of Midwood, Sanders’ old stomping grounds, borders another neighborhood just to the west of it, Kensington, where many south asian muslims, many from Bangladesh and Pakistan, live just like millions of other New Yorkers do, worrying about the late train or the late rent. There are no checkpoints in between these neighborhoods. Brawls don’t break out between gangs of fist-throwing youth for religious reasons. It’s a miracle.

Brooklyn’s legal system suffers from deep flaws and inequalities, but it is at least a few shades more fair than Jerusalem’s. And it’s not a miracle, actually. It’s the realization of the purpose of the U.S. Constitution, which establishes a secular system of laws — not a church — that lets even rival religions exist side by side in peace. It’s a meaningful project, and far from complete. Sanders, as the first Jewish president, would be a product of a document that prohibits religious tests.

Ben Tzion Sacks, right, and a friend (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Ben Tzion Sacks, right, and a friend (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

But other Jews in the neighborhood see politics differently from Baruch. Down the street, Ben Tzion Sacks, 20, doesn’t see anything wrong with banning Muslims from entering the country — a religious test.

“Number one is because he’s not bought by all those special interests. And he’s not scared to say the truth about the refugees,” he said. If Trump prevails, the United States will not face the same fate as “what’s happening in Europe with refugees,” where there have been a series of recent attacks — in Paris and Brussels — carried out by European-born Muslims in the name of ISIS.

“And he knows how to get things done, he’s very good at that,” Sacks added.

Sacks just lives in the neighborhood where Sanders grew up and spoke like a born-and-bred New Yorker. A kid who was still learning how to read when September 11 happened.

Meanwhile, a man nearby holding a sign that said “#NYCTruthCommission” shouted statements.

“Stop paying for gasoline!” he exclaimed. “Stop paying for water.”

Another reporter finished interviewing Sacks.

“Stop paying to live here! Those are the issues,” the guy with the sign yelled again.

I started asking Sacks some of the same questions I asked Jewish attendees of this year’s AIPAC conference. And I got similar answers.

“What do you think about Trump’s association with Nazis?” I asked him.

Sacks was smoking a cigarette near the local public school, alongside a red-headed friend who said little except that he was too young to vote. He didn’t miss a beat answering the question on Trump’s ties to the far right, both online and offline.

“I don’t think he has any association with Nazis, I think that just because nazis endorsed him and also the Ku Klux Klan endorsed him doesn’t mean he pro-them. I don’t think that’s true. I think that’s stupidity,” Sacks explained.

The red-headed kid next to him just stood there. Both wore yarmulkes and L.L. Bean looking clothes, festive scarves, not like the austere style of Baruch, who was outfitted in a well-pressed rekel, a long black coat customary among Hasidic Jewish men.

Talking to Baruch and Sacks was kind of like stepping into a surreal spin off of The Chosen.

In this case, the observant Jewish youth, Baruch, was into universal health care and raising the minimum wage, while the nationalist kid, Sacks, tobacco smoke curling from his lungs, advocated giving a WASP from Queens a monopoly over the legal use of force in order to keep out Muslims desperate for shelter from war.

But Sacks explained that it’s because of the problems.

“Do you see any parallels in anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic bigotry?” I asked.

“No I don’t, just because. I don’t think that’s racism, the fact that he wants to ban Muslims. Because there’s a big problem in the Muslim community and that’s true.”

But what about when Jews were turned away during the Holocaust? In supporting the acceptance of refugees, American Jewish leaders have made the same parallel.

“You have to know exactly what the situation was then, and the reason they didn’t want to take in Jews. We would love to take in Muslims if there would not be a problem. You have to know how big the problem is,” Sacks said.

“The fact is that with Muslims the risk is a lot higher. We’re talking about blowing up innocent people and killing innocent people that’s a whole different story. You have to know how big the risk is,” he said.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, an armed Jewish group had been doing just that — blowing up innocent people for political reasons— in attacks directed at our closest ally in the world, The United Kingdom.

To seize Palestine from the British empire, the armed wing of the Zionist movement in the 1940s employed guerilla tactics developed by the Irish Republican Army, which had itself just expelled armed Anglo-Saxons after about 1000 years of continuous colonization and occasional attempts at genocide by sword, bullet, famine or all three. Building bombs and blowing them up seemed to have worked for the IRA, and it would end up working for the Irgun, too. Just as other modern insurgencies have done since, attacks by the Irgun were meant to instill fear in the subjects of the Crown living in the Mandate, the kind of “blowing up innocent people” Sacks was concerned about.

“What about the King David Hotel?” I asked, referring to a 1946 bombing carried out by an armed ZIonist group, the Irgun. It killed 91 people and wounded another 46. Along with British officials, Palestinian Arabs and Jews were among the dead.

“What about it?” The youth asked.

“Nevermind,” I replied. “Very cool. Listen, man: thank you. Thanks again.”

“Who are you reporting this for?” Sacks asked.

“Oh, we’ll find out. I’m a freelancer.”

As I almost always do, I decided against indulging in some self-righteous diatribe about how heartless acts of political violence or unauthorized-freedom-fighting haunt the ethnic backgrounds of lots of people, who have nothing to do with injuring anybody themselves. For instance, despite claiming some Irish forebearers, I’ve never had anything personally to do with Hibernian politics or Fenian agitation, in case you’re wondering. Nor would I. I’m an American. We have our own history of civil war — and strained ceasefire over it — to deal with.

And I was there to report news, not debate history and ethics. Discussions like that take hours and usually go nowhere or not very far. And this is the news business, not political philosophy. I had a deadline in like 48 hours. Had to get moving.

Zawar Shah (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Zawar Shah (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

The next person I caught up with was one of Sacks’ Muslim neighbors, Brooklyn college psychology student Zawar Shah, also 20, who was wearing a “Make Donald Drumpf Again” hat and a shirt that read “Make America Groot Again,” a reference to the film Guardians of the Galaxy, a not-half-bad space opera/screwball comedy you should check out. But finish reading this first.

“I personally believe what Sanders is saying,” he said. Born in Brooklyn, Shah has been to Pakistan and blames the poverty and discord there on cheating, dishonest politicians. Sanders, by contrast, is someone he believes.

“I can’t even believe that I live on his old block,” Shah said, something he only found out that day.

As for Trump, his gripe is personal.

“I don’t really like how people are treating the Syrian refugees, for instance. And Muslims in general. I’m Muslim,” Shah said.

For months, Trump has hammered down his message that Syrians present a danger to the United States, with his stump speech compares taking in refugees to taking and caring for a wild snake. It’s resonated with Shah’s neighbors, young men his age like Sacks.

When Shah started talking about Trump on Twitter, some people unfollowed him. But he was able to show them what he meant with one powerful sentence.

“I normally tweet normal, cute stuff,” he said. “And then when I posted one thing online said ‘My family can never come into this country, if Trump is president.’ They stopped unfollowing me. That stopped happening. I kept it pinned and people started supporting why I was supporting Sanders, even conservative people.”

I told Shah about what Sacks had said. He said he would try to engage in conversation with someone who felt that Muslims were threatening.

“I can understand fear given how much the media keeps pushing it in their face,” he said. “I would try to reason with them.”

“There is hope for this country. There is hope for everything. I believe in America that is 100 percent free in the religious prospect. I hear all about these people who are saying these Muslims want to implement shariah law. I don’t. I don’t want to,” Shah said.

“I don’t want to live in a Muslim haven; I don’t want to live in a Christian haven; I don’t want to live in an atheist haven,” he explained. “I just want to live in a country where we can believe whatever we want. And Bernie Sanders stands for that.”

About Wilson Dizard

Wilson Dizard is a freelance reporter and photojournalist covering politics, civil rights, drug policy and everything else. He lives in Brooklyn with his bicycle, camera and drum set.

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29 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    April 11, 2016, 11:20 am

    bernie at the apollo on saturday was great. the whole video is really good.

    • RockyMissouri
      RockyMissouri
      April 12, 2016, 11:14 am

      Thank you..!! And Nina Turner as well… She is a fierce advocate. I am a fan of them all!

  2. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    April 11, 2016, 6:12 pm

    A surreal spinoff of “The Chosen”? How many people here have read or seen “the chosen”? How would other ethnics relate to being characterized as spinoff from some ethnic novel: he looked like a spinoff from “do the right thing” from “the kite runner”? It sounds ignorant and stereotypical. (I suppose that for those of us who have read “the chosen”, there is some insight into the writer’s reaction to the differing types within orthodoxy, but the general impression created is of stereotyping. )

    • jon s
      jon s
      April 12, 2016, 10:26 am

      Speaking of “chosen”, there’s a curling team of rabbis, and a cantor, in Canada, called “The Frozen Chosen”.
      (I didn’t make this up…):

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/more-sports/with-these-rocks-the-friars-briar-will-build-an-international-community/article29122752/

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        April 12, 2016, 11:19 am

        @jon

        Both cute and funny. Fits even better that it’s the friars briar.

      • gamal
        gamal
        April 12, 2016, 11:37 am

        as regards choseness and election in Islam, I quote from David Kerrs 1982 paper presented at the center for the study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Selly Oak Colleges,

        “Muhammad clearly understood his task as being, under divine guidance, the restoration of primordial monotheism, and identified characteristically, though not exclusively with Abraham, the “hanif”‘ “pure in faith”, the “leader of humankind”. Both before and after

        Abraham, however, the Quran attests prophets to have been sent by God to all human communities, and with particular frequency to the Banu Isra’il. Q42:13 gives special mention to Noah, Moses and Jesus along with Abraham, and assures Muhammad that God has ordained for him the same religion (din) as He had for them.

        At the close of his ministry the Quran declared Muhammad to have succeeded, by divine favour, in bringing to perfection the the religion of God revealed to all His prophets, and the designation “al-Islam” was confrimed. The Quran therefore propounds a doctrine of unity and universality in divine revelation from the beginning of human history, completed in the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad as the “messenger of God to you all” (ie to the whole of humankind) and therefore the “seal of the Prophets”

        Within this perspective the Children of Israel have considerable importance in the Quran as recipients of divine favour, not as an “elect” people in a sense comparable to Jewish or Christian thought, but as an historical case-study full of instruction for Muslims themselves. ”

        David A Kerr “The Prophet Muhammad in Christian Theological Perspective” sept 1982.

        the concept “chosen people” is non-existent in the Islamic versions of the Biblical narrative, so I am impressed that some “scholars” have found it there, its been quite a shock to many of us.

        Its always advisable to “blanche” before freezing i suppose they can get a tan in Netanya when they thaw out..

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        April 12, 2016, 2:29 pm

        Permafrost is a good location for such. May be brought back to life if and when the Zionist entity is kicked out and given a home in the South Pole.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        April 12, 2016, 2:53 pm

        Wow, I think that echinococcus found something more offensive than advocating the Jews return to Europe. He’s advocating sending them to the South Pole instead, kind of like Stalin and Siberia.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        April 12, 2016, 6:16 pm

        Hophmi seems to have misunderstood again. The return of all invaders to their respective countries of origin is of course the preferred, civilized solution!

        The South Pole is the only possible compromise proposal on earth for crazies who insist that their parental religion makes them “a people” and want to establish a racial supremacist sovereign nation. Of course, competing requests for the South Pole will have to be studied, too. Problem is, all the earth is inhabited by now, as it already was in the 19th Century.

        As for Stalin and Siberia, I’d recommend being a little friendlier. After all, Birobidjan was the first realization of a Zionist ideal. It may still be available but unfortunately the Siberian peoples cannot be made subject-race citizens.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 12, 2016, 10:15 pm

        “The return of all invaders to their respective countries of origin”

        Not so fast, “Echin”. Don’t try to dump Israeli criminals back into the US. Not without being investigated, and if necessary tried, and sentenced.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        April 12, 2016, 10:41 pm

        Mooser,

        The US keeps jurisdiction over US citizens anyway. I’m sure it will treat them, after they are back, just like the American Talibans, in a spirit of equality before the law.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        April 13, 2016, 8:27 pm

        “the concept “chosen people” is non-existent in the Islamic versions of the Biblical narrative, so I am impressed that some “scholars” have found it there, its been quite a shock to many of us.”

        That’s why I was quite shocked when I found it in the Hamas Charter, at the very top: “Ye are the best nation that hath been raised up unto mankind: ye command that which is just, and ye forbid that which is unjust, and ye believe in Allah.”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 13, 2016, 9:51 pm

        “That’s why I was quite shocked”

        Try and think of it as therapy.

      • gamal
        gamal
        April 13, 2016, 11:44 pm

        “That’s why I was quite shocked when I found it in the Hamas Charter, at the very top: “Ye are the best nation that hath been raised up unto mankind: ye command that which is just, and ye forbid that which is unjust, and ye believe in Allah.”

        ha you idiot.. it continues

        ” if those of earlier revelation had attained to (this kind of faith) it would have been to their own good among them are believers, while most of them are iniquitous”

        learn to read moron. its surat al imran 109-11, so you thought what al imran its like the bible must be a history of the Jews, fool.

        its not refering to biblical times, not refering to Banu Isra’il and not saying any one is elect of God, can you not read, please produce the Quranic quote that calls the Banu Isra’il chosen elect or whatever. I never cease to be amazed at the your laziness and stupidity.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 14, 2016, 3:35 pm

        Thanks, “gamal”. I knew I heard a “squelch” (the sound of somebody stepping in a big steaming pile) when he said it, and started to smell the usual fecal odor, but I didn’t know why. Now I do.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        April 14, 2016, 6:12 pm

        @ gamal, mooser & MW censors

        Comments policy:

        “4. No personal attacks. We encourage spirited, passionate debate, but if you have to resort to vicious personal attack, you’re not advancing the discussion. Stay on the issues. ”

        Thank you, censors, for letting gamal’s comment pass, even though it obviously violates the rules. It gives me the opportunity to respond to it.

        Gamal has called me, in that order:

        an idiot

        a fool

        illiterate (“can you not read”)

        lazy

        stupid

        I can’t tell whether Mooser’s comment refers to me or someone else:

        Mooser April 14, 2016, 3:35 pm
        “Thanks, “gamal”. I knew I heard a “squelch” (the sound of somebody stepping in a big steaming pile) when he said it, and started to smell the usual fecal odor, but I didn’t know why. Now I do.”

        If Mooser’s comment did indeed refer to me, I can assure you that I am neither an idiot etc, nor male. Just a bitch who obviously stepped into a steaming pile of shit

        The shit pile revolves about the typical sandbox argument about “who started it”?

        I could not care less, whether we talk about the violent clashes of Islamic and Christian world views, or the I/P conflict. I am much more interested in how to stop either one of these conflicts, and sandbox arguments are no help whatsoever.

        I was NOT being sarcastic when I wrote I was “shocked”. I simply repeated what you, gamal, stated and quoted in your post. I do not view either Islam or Christianity as an inherently violent or supremacist religion. But nobody can deny that their history IS violent and tribalist, supremacist.

        And I think that is also true for Judaism.

        Monotheism, however fragmented and diverse, just does not lend itself to tolerance and peaceful coexistence with infidels and heretics within or outside either one of the Abrahamic religions.

        So yes, I know the text “continues”. I have read it, and in better trls than yours.

        I am intrigued by the numbers you quote:

        “learn to read moron. its surat al imran 109-11”

        9-11?

        Yes, I realize it neither refers to biblical times, nor to the 21st c

        Still, numbers and dates matter, nowhere more so than in religion.

        And yes, 9/11 does not only, in 2001, imply Muslim revenge against the Christian/American enemy.

        It also, quite clearly, relates to another epochal battle, neither biblical, nor post-modern: the late 17th c defeat of the Ottoman/Muslim attempt to erect a mosque in the Vatican. Yes, yes, I know: revenge for the unprovoked attack of the crusades. Sandbox alert.

        If you are too lazy to read up on it, you can watch the movie

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_Eleven_1683

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 14, 2016, 7:29 pm

        “I can’t tell whether Mooser’s comment refers to me or someone else”

        Refers to the quote. Sorry for the confusion. I should have been clearer.
        And there’s nothing like a good Italian sandal-opera. Even if the hero has a bigger chest than the heroine.

      • gamal
        gamal
        April 14, 2016, 7:43 pm

        you are most welcome a better translation and an explanatory note by Muhammad Asad, the Jewish Viennese Gulf Arabian Muslim, no one has ever come close to his work he sacrifices form to at least give some feel of the content, Arabs who were fluent in English were awed by his achievement.

        “YOU ARE indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of]
        mankind: you enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and you
        believe in God.

        Now if the followers of earlier revelation had attained to [this kind of] faith, it
        would have been for their own good; [but only few] among them are believers, while most of
        them are iniquitous: (3:111) [but] these can never inflict more than a passing hurt on you; and if
        they fight against you, they will turn their backs upon you [in flight], and will not be succoured.”

        and its note

        82 As is obvious from the opening sentence of verse 110, this promise to
        the followers of the
        Qur’an is conditional upon their being, or remaining, a community of
        people who “enjoin the
        doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and [truly]
        believe in God”;
        and as history has shown

        this promise is bound to lapse whenever the
        Muslims fail to
        live up to their faith.”

        he called it like he saw it.

      • gamal
        gamal
        April 14, 2016, 7:47 pm

        “Gamal has called me, in that order:

        an idiot

        a fool

        illiterate (“can you not read”)

        lazy

        stupid”

        and a liar and a tell tale

        I am more hurt than angry.

      • gamal
        gamal
        April 14, 2016, 8:06 pm

        You know Mooser i always liked the verses which follow, really because of the casual easy way the god of the Quran mixes intimate tenderness with a cool, detached and pitiless harshness, that voice is so…so confident.

        “Overshadowed by ignominy are they wherever they may be, save [when they bind themselves
        again] in a bond with God and a bond with men;
        for they
        have earned the burden of God’s
        condemnation, and are overshadowed by humiliation: all this [has befallen them] because they
        persisted in denying the truth of God’s messages and in slaying the prophets against all right: all
        this, because they rebelled [against God], and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right.
        3:113
        [But] they are not all alike: among the followers of earlier revelation there are upright people,
        who recite God’s messages throughout the night, and prostrate themselves
        [before Him]. (3:114)
        They believe in God and the Last Day, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing
        of what is wrong, and vie with one another in doing good works: and these are among the
        righteous. (3:115) And whatever good they do, they shall never be denied the reward thereof: for, God has full knowledge of those who are conscious of Him.
        3:116
        [But,] behold, as for those who are bent on denying the truth

        neither their worldly possessions
        nor their children will in the least avail
        them against God: and it is they who are destined for the
        fire, therein to abide.
        3:117
        The parable of what they spend on the life of this world is that of an icy wind which smites the
        tilth of people who have sinned against themselves, and destroys it:
        for, it is not God who does
        them wrong, but it is they who are wronging themselves.”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 14, 2016, 11:20 pm

        ” i always liked the verses which follow,”

        Thanks, those verses are the right stuff, indeed. My favorite line (which, for some reason, went through me like a dose of salts) is:

        “God has full knowledge of those who are conscious of Him.”

  3. Mooser
    Mooser
    April 11, 2016, 8:25 pm

    “How would other ethnics relate to being characterized as spinoff from some ethnic novel” “Yonah Fredman”

    You mean like this “Yonah”:

    Regarding Bernie Sanders, the man talks like a street corner nut, an old uncle who might liven up the seder with his old style leftist politics, but not a doer, a talker and old and a bit of a joke.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/wondering-jew/#sthash.trNs0JKr.dpuf

    (“there is some insight into the writer’s reaction to the differing types within orthodoxy, but the general impression created is of stereotyping”)

    Anyway if there were African-Americans living in Brooklyn, too, this could all get really complicated

  4. eljay
    eljay
    April 12, 2016, 11:38 am

    … “I am a strong defender of Israel …

    Why? Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and religion-supremacist state that has been committing (war) crimes with impunity for almost 70 years. Why would Sanders or anyone else “strongly defend” such an unjust and immoral state?

    … but I also believe that we have got to pay attention to the needs of the Palestinian people,” he said … “There are wonderful people … and there are bad people on both sides of that issue. If we are going to bring peace, hopefully, God willing, in the Middle East, We’re going to have to treat both sides with respect and equality,” Sanders said. …

    The rapist may also be a nice guy and his victim may also be a complete bitch, but when it comes to resolving the rapist-victim issue you don’t treat both sides respectfully and as equals. You liberate the victim and hold the rapist accountable for his crimes.

    I-P must be resolved through the application of justice, accountability and equality.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      April 12, 2016, 3:20 pm

      Why? Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and religion-supremacist state that has been committing (war) crimes with impunity for almost 70 years. Why would Sanders or anyone else “strongly defend” such an unjust and immoral state?

      Why? Because he can. Because he gets away with it as long as he is talking to the imperialist sympathizer middle-class “liberals” of the US.

    • Antidote
      Antidote
      April 13, 2016, 7:18 pm

      “Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and religion-supremacist state that has been committing (war) crimes with impunity for almost 70 years. Why would Sanders or anyone else “strongly defend” such an unjust and immoral state?”

      Because he’s American? And, as such, not exactly entitled to cast any stones? 70 yrs is peanuts, as is the damage done by Israel to the indigenous population, or the greater Middle East, compared with the damage done by illegal Mayflower immigrants and religious fanatics , and their descendants, to the Native American people, the entire continent, and the entire world. Colonialism? Expansionism? War Crimes? Please, bigots, get a grip

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 13, 2016, 8:06 pm

        || Antidote: Because he’s American? And, as such, not exactly entitled to cast any stones? … ||

        I wasn’t aware that one of the requirements of being American is supporting (war) criminal states. Interesting.

        || … 70 yrs is peanuts, as is the damage done by Israel … Colonialism? Expansionism? War Crimes? Please, bigots, get a grip ||

        Murderers exist, so it’s OK to rape.  –   Zio-supremacist apologists always have the most bestest justifications for the (war) crimes they commit.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 13, 2016, 8:09 pm

        “Please, bigots, get a grip”

        If we don’t want the Zionists to make some of the same tragic mistakes the US did, or worse we’re “bigots”? I guess non-bigots accede to the necessity of genocidal racial struggles?

        I must be missing something. Who is it we are bigoted against?

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        April 15, 2016, 10:01 pm

        I tried to reply to you, mooser and eljay.

        looks like I got censored despite not posting any ad hominems

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 16, 2016, 11:26 am

        “looks like I got censored despite not posting any ad hominems”

        No, you weren’t “censored”. You may have been ‘moderated’ or (and don’t over look this possibility) the system ‘dropped’ a comment. That can happen, too.

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