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Video: Israelis are not feeling the Bern in Jerusalem

on 12 Comments

On Monday, April 11, 2016, I went to Jerusalem’s Zion Square to ask Israelis for their thoughts on Bernie Sanders, the Jewish-American presidential candidate.

No anti-Zionist himself, Sanders said this week that he would take a “more balanced position” while guaranteeing Israel’s security. Last week, he called Israel’s use of force in the 2014 assault on Gaza “disproportionate” and said that “a lot of innocent people were killed who should not have been killed.”

Last week, Sanders confused the number of Palestinians injured with those killed in Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, saying, “I happen to believe … anybody help me out here, because I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?”

Despite qualifying his estimate, which was quickly corrected by his interviewer, Sanders was attacked by prominent Israel supporters and Hillary Clinton. Israeli Member of Knesset and former American accused Sanders Michael Oren of advancing a “blood libel,” and by MK Yair Lapid said he is promoting Hamas “propaganda and deception.” The Anti-Defamation League demanded that Sanders correct his misstatement.

Nearly all of the Israelis I spoke to had strong dislike for Sanders, and many disparaged him, even disqualifying him as a Jew.

Interestingly, that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had less support than Sanders, despite her pandering to American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) where she pledged to take the US-Israel relationship to the “next level.” Still polls show that Israelis prefer Clinton to Sanders and that Clinton and Donald Trump are tied in the race for president.

Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen is an independent journalist and filmmaker based in Palestine. He tweets at @dancohen3000.

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12 Responses

  1. Marnie on April 14, 2016, 10:12 am

    Dan Cohen – I don’t know how you were able to hold that microphone instead of pounding the heads of the idiots you spoke to with it. Especially the last pos – “I was in Gaza. We were very gentle”. And the man who said “What Sanders said reflects more about the propaganda that he absorbed. I’m sure that if he would have been fed with the right data, he would have said something else”. And the young american (assume) woman “I’m right wing and I don’t believe in a 2-state solution, so I don’t like Bernie Sanders”. And the bearded american guy – “Jews come back”. I hope Sanders wins if for no other reason than he pisses off the right (wing) people. I’m sick to death of Israelis “Is he/she good for israel?” They are very clear that what’s good for the people who can actually vote for an american president means bupkis; the only people who count in american elections are israelis.

    I think the guy in the wheelchair got Bernie Sanders confused with with Trump “He’s great! He’s fun?”, but wouldn’t admit he didn’t know Sanders; maybe he does?

  2. kalithea on April 14, 2016, 11:10 am

    This video conclusively proves that Zionism is anti-Semitic. Zionists would rather prevent a Jewish man from becoming President than have truth spoken to Zionist power.

    And the last guy with the New York letters on his t-shirt is a bald-faced, shameless liar when he says that the bombardment and utter devastation waged against Gaza was gentle.

    We’re looking at the opinions of a sick society, and this is what you get with Zionism, and they’ll only go from bad to worse if they are allowed to carry on this crime and oppression with total impunity.

  3. french_jew on April 14, 2016, 12:37 pm

    Israeli society is fucked, the people who are at the forefront of an unequal system and who routinely deal with the everyday “management” of oppression/subalternization are generally the nastiest. Today’s Jerusalemites, to the working class Afrikaners during apartheid but also Irish or Italian cops in early 20th century US or construction foremen if we talk about labor.

    Nonetheless, Dan Cohen are tabloid journalism methods here. Even a guy Corey Gil-Shuster who is pretty biased in his street interviews of Israelis and Palestinians uses a somewhat better interviewing methods.

    • french_jew on April 14, 2016, 1:10 pm

      Ouch, so many typos and mistakes in my message, sorry about that.

    • Mooser on April 14, 2016, 8:04 pm

      “or construction foremen if we talk about labor.”

      “Construction foreman”? Feh! Feudal holdovers from the ancien regime! The enemies of Liberté, égalité, et fraternité.

  4. kalithea on April 14, 2016, 2:10 pm

    Morality and Justice: the equation and sum total that really scares Zionist power.

  5. Talkback on April 14, 2016, 2:45 pm

    “Nearly all of the Israelis I spoke to had strong dislike for Sanders, and many disparaged him, even disqualifying him as a Jew.”

    Yeah, he doesn’t strike me as a 100% sayan either. He needs to get goldstoned.

  6. rahelah on April 15, 2016, 8:54 am

    In case any viewers missed it, that “gentle” comment was another disturbing example of black Israeli “humor.” The psychopath in the tee-shirt was belligerently expressing his sick opinion that Palestinians were treated too gently in Protective Edge. The question is…….how many Israelis – inside or outside Israel – agree with that sick attitude.

  7. Lewis Elbinger on April 15, 2016, 10:00 am

    More reasons to work for and vote for Bernie Sanders. Thank you, Dan Cohen.

  8. Ossinev on April 15, 2016, 1:46 pm

    For me the most striking thing about the video interviews was the range of Foreign nationalities repeat Foreign nationalities being effectively asked their views on the native Palestinian population and the”problem” of having to put up with the native Palestinian problem. Nothing illustrates more clearly the brutal colonial nature of the Jewish State in the Levant. Everything in the video points to a simple racist/supremist mindset but the brainwashed Zionists being interviewed simply have no idea that they come across just as nauseating as the far rightists in Europe and indeed just as repulsive as the brainwashed Nazis of the 30`s and 40`s. Very sad and very sick especially the responses of the younger people being interviewed. If we on the outside find the mindset nauseating think how much worse it must be for the Gideon Levys watching their country and “countrymen” sink irretrievably into the racist cesspit.

  9. Elizabeth Block on April 15, 2016, 3:43 pm

    About Bernie Sanders’s mistake (saying that 10,000 had been killed in Gaza):
    There’s an old story about a southern politician, sitting around with his cronies discussing tactics for the forthcoming election. One crony suggests that they spread a rumor that his opponent f—ks pigs.
    “Aw, you know he don’t do that!” says the pol.
    “Yeah, I know,” says the crony. “But won’t it be fun to make the son-of-a-bitch deny it!”

    Well, Bernie — inadvertently, no doubt — got the Israelis to deny that they killed 10,000 Gazans. They only killed about 1400, and to say it was more is a blood libel.

    Is it any wonder that I trust Bernie Sanders, the Jew, on Palestine far more than Hillary Clinton, the unreconstructed imperialist.

    • lysias on April 15, 2016, 6:58 pm

      Sanders said in the debate yesterday that 10,000 Palestinians had been injured in Gaza. So it was obvious to anyone who was listening and who was aware of the controversy how he made the mistake about 10,000 killed.

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