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Sanders-backed candidate in FL says Wasserman Schultz won’t ‘protect’ Israel

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This is a bizarre political story that highlights the fact that older American Jews don’t want to hear One Bad Word about Israel: A progressive Democrat who has gotten Bernie Sanders’s endorsement in a challenge to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in an August 30 primary in Miami, is running to her right on Israel!

Law professor Tim Canova, a 56-year-old Jew who is left on economic issues, says that Debbie Wasserman Schultz — who chaired the Democratic National Committee in part because she’s so good at raising pro-Israel money, who found Sanders’s evenhanded statements about Israel and Palestine “disturbing” according to emails leaked last month, and who has said that Jews should not marry non-Jews and that the networks should not show so many pictures of carnage in Gaza — is soft on Israel!

It is all mere posturing by Canova to win the Jewish vote, IMHO. Canova supported Sanders, and vice versa. Wasserman Schultz has been endorsed by Hillary Clinton.

Canova’s chief pander involves the Iran deal. At Counterpunch, Sam Husseini reports: 

He’s also adopted an extremely anti-Iran position. Writes AP: “Despite the big fundraising haul, Canova faces a daunting task to defeat a strong a Jewish Democratic incumbent in a district dominated by Jewish and Hispanic voters, where U.S. relations with Israel and Cuba are debated as often as jobs and the economy. … Canova… thinks the landmark Iran nuclear agreement was filled with ‘holes’ and that it was wrong to give Iran access to $100 billion in frozen assets.”

Jewish Insider published a pamphlet Canova has put out that says Debbie Wasserman Schultz doesn’t want to protect Israel. It quotes a Clintonite saying that it’s shocking to think that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not pro-Israel.

Canova pamphlet attacking Wasserman Schultz from the right on Israel

Canova pamphlet attacking Wasserman Schultz from the right on Israel

This is obvious B.S. Canova is just trying to grab Jewish voters. His own website’s issues page makes clear that he won’t trash the deal.

“Now that the Iran nuclear deal has been adopted by all parties, I support its full implementation and I would not support any efforts by the U.S. to unilaterally scrap the agreement.”

And his website says nothing about this, but last February, Canova told Reddit readers that he was against settlements.  “I favor a freeze on settlements and the administration has to make this a big priority.”

His website does tell Floridians that he’s a good Jew.

I was raised in a blended family, Catholic on my mother’s side and with a loving Jewish stepdad for the past forty years.  We observed Jewish holy days, honored Jewish traditions, and learned much about Israel from many friends and loved ones who had visited.  In the year before I started law school, I decided to live and work on a kibbutz in IsraelI developed a deep attachment to the land and people of Israel, and a deep commitment to Israel as a democratic Jewish state.

The Weekly Standard reported that he opposed Bernie Sanders’s line on Israel in the New York primary:

Canova also attributes Sanders’s loss in the crucial New York primary to Israel. “He started off at [the New York debate] saying ‘I’m 100 percent pro-Israel.’ But that was the last thing he said that was pro-Israeli.”

Nathan Guttman broke this story back in May at the Forward:

Canova, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, is challenging Wasserman Schultz from the left. His progressive campaign against the sitting congresswoman resembles in many ways that of Sanders to against Clinton, including the emphasis put on perils of trade agreements, big money in politics, and protection of low-income Americans.

But when it comes to Israel and the Middle East, Canova is trying to take on Wasserman Schultz from the right.

“She voted for the Iran deal and I’m against the agreement,” he said, voicing criticism of the deal details in a way that echoed many of the talking points raised by hawkish Republicans.

What’s the lesson here? PEP (Progressive Except Palestine) is an ironclad principle of the Democratic Party because of the influence of older Jewish voters– and donors who wield a “gigantic” and “shocking” power in Democratic policymaking. Canova is at the point of the lance, in Miami. But all Democrats feel this pressure. And it won’t be broken till the media, which is in on the Israel-pandering, discuss the issue openly. Which may not happen till young Jews take on their parents and grandparents. I’m not holding my breath.


Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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44 Responses

  1. Mooser on August 10, 2016, 1:22 pm

    “Which may not happen till young Jews take on their parents and grandparents.”

    But that could turn into a battle of wills. And what parent or grand-parent can hope to win that kind of battle with a young, determined, informed person? It doesn’t seem fair, somehow.

    • silamcuz on August 11, 2016, 1:03 am

      Fairness has nothing to do with this. It’s about being right and not being wrong, which affects every single individual the same way old or young.

      People are not being anti-Zionist because of ideology or rebelling against their parents, they are anti-Zionist because Zionism is wrong. It is a logical and rational course of action to take for anyone who is interested in self-preservation.

    • Boo on August 12, 2016, 9:25 am

      In a battle of wills, the older generation always holds the upper hand. Because they’re the ones who write the wills.

      • Mooser on August 12, 2016, 2:06 pm

        “In a battle of wills, the older generation always holds the upper hand.”

        Not always. For example, when I asked my Mom “How much will I inherit?” she picked up a box of detergent and said “Someday boychik, this All will be yours.”

  2. Mr.T on August 10, 2016, 1:31 pm

    Yet another wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing fifth columnist. Shame on Sanders for supporting this guy.

    • lonely rico on August 14, 2016, 1:20 pm

      > Mooser
      Someday boychik, this Awl will be yours.

      Pierced to the heart, our indomitable young hero nonetheless faces the upcoming battle of wills with grim determination.

  3. Raphael on August 10, 2016, 5:16 pm

    Just because he has a Jewish step father, and he went on a kibbutz; does not make him a member of the club. He is not Jewish, so he is not a member. Even if he converted; that would not make him a member of the Miami Jewish community. If he is not 100% kosher Jewish; he will not take away any of Wasserman Schultz’s loyal Jewish voters.

    • Mr.T on August 10, 2016, 6:20 pm

      Are there that many KKK-level bigots in the Miami Jewish community who would choose not to vote for this person because of his ethnicity?

      • Doubtom on August 11, 2016, 1:27 pm

        Don’t know , but there’s a big boatload of people who WILL vote for ethnicity alone. When will people wake to the fact that they’re sending people to Congress to represent them and not Israel? Israsel is not a state of the United States.

    • Keith on August 10, 2016, 6:54 pm

      RAPHAEL- “If he is not 100% kosher Jewish; he will not take away any of Wasserman Schultz’s loyal Jewish voters.”

      Surely the donkey’s endorsement will count for something?

  4. Keith on August 10, 2016, 5:42 pm

    PHIL- “Law professor Tim Canova, a 56-year-old Jew who is left on economic issues….”

    Says who? What exactly do you consider to be “left” on economic issues? Does he support the TPP? If so, he is not to the left. How “left” are his economic policies versus Jill Stein? Besides, the labels “left” and “right” have become almost meaningless. In 2016, virtually all of the candidates are corporate militarists. Finally, he is yet another lawyer running for office when we already have too many lawyers in office. Few seem aware that about 2/3 of US Presidents have been lawyers. Harvard lawyers are a particular plague as evidenced by the Bill Clinton, the Obama and probably the Hillary Clinton administration. And not just the President either, but the first spouse as well. Lawyers seem to have the necessary verbal skills to camouflage their (and the system’s) moral deficiencies. I propose a constitutional amendment to prohibit Harvard lawyers from the Presidency.

    • Mary T on August 10, 2016, 7:10 pm

      The Clintons went to Yale Law.

      • Keith on August 11, 2016, 10:29 am

        Okay, prohibit Harvard and Yale lawyers from the Presidency.

    • echinococcus on August 10, 2016, 7:12 pm

      In the same amendment, also try to pass a rule that no Democrat shyster is to be called “left” without certification with regard to precise positions.

    • Doubtom on August 11, 2016, 1:34 pm

      Keith, You seem to be catching on to the pseudo-profession of law being only a game of words–they’re also known as “wordsmiths”. May I recommend a book that will reveal more about the game of law?
      For each generation there seems to be a clever bunch who’ve discovered a way to survive without working. In these days of total corruption they’ve also become the biggest enablers of crime,,,not surprisingly.

  5. Ozma on August 10, 2016, 6:32 pm

    Wasserman Schultz won’t protect America. Wasserman Schultz won’t even protect DNC data analysts.

  6. Kay24 on August 10, 2016, 7:07 pm

    Pandering to the Israel/AIPAC seems to be the game
    Each one trying to outdo the other our nation’s shame
    The way to win elections in America today, and even in the past
    Is put Israel/AIPAC first and the American people last.

    • klm90046 on August 10, 2016, 9:33 pm

      Bravo, Kay24!

      • Kay24 on August 11, 2016, 6:08 am

        Sometimes I think in rhyme
        What the heck that’s no crime. :))

      • oneangrycomic on August 11, 2016, 2:36 pm

        Most of the time
        I find it easier
        To think in rhyme
        When writing
        About slime

        Supporting AIPAC is a crime!

      • Kay24 on August 11, 2016, 5:03 pm


        Sometimes I think in rhyme too
        Words appropriate for Nutty yahoo
        the words are not ladylike and it is not wise
        to write them down for public eyes. :))

    • Citizen on August 11, 2016, 3:16 am

      I have never seen on cable tv news/infotainment a single analyst/pundit trotted out who picked at the bone of conflation of US/Israel best interests. This conflation doesn’t happen with any other country, including all our traditional allies that are always the first to send their troops in support of ours to the ME. Israel really is our de facto 51st state–with 100 senators, not two. Somehow, Dick and Jane have never noticed this oddity.

      • Boomer on August 11, 2016, 7:14 am

        Sometimes Dick and Jane do notice, but our elites don’t deign to notice Dick and Jane. If Dick and Jane try to bring the subject up, they are dismissed as anti-semitic, because they brought it up.

      • Kay24 on August 11, 2016, 8:23 am

        Dick and Jane have been brainwashed into thinking that it is OUR obligation and duty to keep aiding and protecting the poor victim of Palestinian oppression and rockets (that hardly hit their targets unlike those zionist precision bombs), all thanks to the zionist controlled media. We have seen many leaders in other parts of the world standing up to Israel and criticizing its human rights violations and the unnecessary deaths of Palestinian civilians, and yet we have never seen the same outrage here shown by our leaders. In fact they immediately pronounce their “unwavering support” for the armed side that is defending themselves from unarmed civilians, the moment Israel decides it is time to mow the lawn.

        Apparently democracy is NOT for the Palestinians.

      • captADKer on August 11, 2016, 10:27 am

        isr is indeed as if out 51st state. why is it that “phil and simone”, et al, have yet to realize that?

    • genesto on August 11, 2016, 12:44 pm

      Alas, it’s sad but true
      The DNC favors the Zionist Jew.

      (Sorry, Kay24, I know it’s not up to your standards)

      • Kay24 on August 11, 2016, 4:57 pm

        Just let the words from your heart just flow and rhyme
        The zionists have occupied for too long a time.
        The illegal settlements and bombs dropped make us ill
        Uncle Sam steps in to protect and pay that bill.

      • Kay24 on August 11, 2016, 4:58 pm

        Just let the words from your heart just flow and rhyme
        The zionists have occupied for too long a time.
        The illegal settlements and bombs dropped make us ill
        Uncle Sam steps in to protect and pay that bill.

        I like your efforts too.

  7. silamcuz on August 11, 2016, 5:13 am

    Wow this was hugely disappointing to read. When Bernie was running, Canova presented himself as a true progressive that aligns with many grassroots left-wing movement, like Occupy and BLM. Now he comes out and says he is an ardent supporter of Israel.

    I feel betrayed, and lied to all this time. I can’t believe I actually supported this guy.

  8. catalan on August 11, 2016, 8:50 am

    Smart guy. Pro-POC and pro-Israel .

  9. echinococcus on August 11, 2016, 11:59 am

    I feel betrayed, and lied to all this time. I can’t believe I actually supported this guy

    There you go, working overtime typing BS instead of reading the small print.

  10. Ossinev on August 11, 2016, 1:07 pm

    Canova , a wannabe Zionist Jew ( Catholic mother / Jewish stepdad ) sides with three pro – JSIL Jewish Congress reps Deutch , Schumer and Lois Frankel – hardly surprising.

  11. Rusty Pipes on August 11, 2016, 2:30 pm

    So, rather than focusing on turning out the 35% of Bernie voters in the district for the special primary (which generally have low turnouts), he’s trying to grab some of DWS’ voters from the Zionist right. Among those 35% are possibly some young African Americans and Arab-Americans whom he could alienate with that tactic.

  12. Raphael on August 11, 2016, 7:19 pm

    Tim Canova could be Jewish, or a Israelite. To me… by him simply wanting it (a Jewishness) is more important then having a membership card.

    It makes no difference who is Jewish by religion… if he wishes to remember (zakhor) something from the past, and to bring to the present day in his own personal form of Jewishness, so be it; that makes him, as Jewish, if not more then even Wasserman Schultz. See recent modern Jewish scholarship articles about Jews, Judaeans….

    Jews, Judaeans, Judaizing, Judaism:
    Problems of Categorization in Ancient History

    Jesus the Israelite was neither a ‘Jew’ nor a ‘Christian’: On Correcting Misleading Nomenclature,” JSHJ 5.2 (July 2007): 119-54.'_Nor_a_Christian'_On_Correcting_Misleading_Nomenclature

    • Mooser on August 11, 2016, 9:03 pm

      “Tim Canova could be Jewish, or a Israelite. To me… by him simply wanting it (a Jewishness) is more important then having a membership card.”

      You bet, “Raphael”! That’s because when somebody wants something like “a Jewishness” we can put a price on it, and they will pay that price, if they want the thing.
      That’s what Judaism is all about.

  13. hophmi on August 12, 2016, 1:12 am

    “Law professor Tim Canova, a 56-year-old Jew ”

    Again referring to the religion of the candidate, and this time, it’s not accurate. You’re a pretty weak journalist, Phil, and a pretty weak human being too.

    • eljay on August 12, 2016, 8:10 am

      || hophmi: … You’re a pretty weak journalist, Phil, and a pretty weak human being too. ||

      The hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist hypocrite cauldron calls the teacup “black”.

    • Boo on August 12, 2016, 9:29 am

      You’re not only referring to his religion, but you’re arrogating to yourself the right to determine he doesn’t actually qualify to claim it. Cute.

      • echinococcus on August 12, 2016, 11:33 am

        Hophmi’s comment on the religious status of someone claiming to be Jewish is perfectly compatible with the official definition that allows for “non-religious Jewish” status on a tribal-pseudoracial basis.
        one can be “Jewish” without following the religion
        in which case
        nobody can be “Jewish” without being born into it
        Judaism (=the state of “Jewish”) is a religion
        in which case
        the irreligious forfeit the status.

        Ordinary logic commands that you cannot have your pie and eat it, too.

      • RoHa on August 12, 2016, 8:28 pm

        But, as I’ve said before, logic is anti-Semitic.

    • Mooser on August 12, 2016, 1:46 pm

      “You’re a pretty weak journalist, Phil, and a pretty weak human being too.”

      “Hophmi” I know what you mean. The guy of guy who does the most damage to the Jewish community, precisely because of how small it is!
      “It is typical of Phil’s writing, which suggests, as it always does, the Phil has internalized anti-Jewish hatred, and like those secularist Jews in Europe who looked down upon their brethren or converted to Christianity to escape their Judaism, Phil adopts the classic tropes of the self-hater.” – See more at:

    • eljay on August 12, 2016, 3:41 pm

      || hophmi: .. Again referring to the religion of the candidate … ||

      There are two things (of many) that you can count on hophmi to do:
      1. When someone says that Jewish is just religion, he’ll argue that it’s wrong and perhaps even anti-Semitic to say so because Jewish is much more than just religion – it’s a tribe, a culture, a collective, an ethnicity, a people, a nation and a civilization.

      2. When someone says that a certain person is Jewish, he’ll reduce Jewish to just religion.

  14. MHughes976 on August 12, 2016, 12:06 pm

    Phil’s sentence, cited by hophmi, does not end on the word ‘Jew’, which would have given it a certain undesirable emphasis, but flows on a bit in a way that doesn’t in final effect seem anti-Semitic or self-hating. But hophmi is surely right to say that Mr. C is not Jewish by the criteria of Jewish theology, at least as that theology is widely understood. C presents himself as very sympathetic to and familiar with Judaism, which is fair enough, and produces what seems a bit like goobledygook on the Iran deal.
    But Phil has spotted something interesting here. A few weeks ago we had the Sandersites trying to get a pro-Palestinian platform, In part paving the way for the statement on Palestine by BLM. Now the Sandsersite candidate in Miami strikes every pro-Israel note that he can find on his tympani. An illustration of the way Zionism has always found supporters – opponents too, of course – at almost every point of the Western political spectrum. It’s a remarkable achievement.

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