Joel Beinin


Questions remain about Bernie Sanders’ time in Israel during the early 1960s, when he reportedly visited the Sha‘ar ha-‘Amakim kibbutz run by the ha-Shomer ha-Tza‘ir movement. Historian Joel Beinin was a leader of ha-Shomer ha-Tza‘ir in the U.S. from 1959 to 1969 and says Bernie Sanders was not a member during that time. He also says that anyone looking to red-bait Sanders over his time on the kibbutz will be solely disappointed, “any socialist ideas Bernie Sanders may have encountered via ha-Shomer ha-Tza‘ir wouldn’t have included a positive evaluation of Soviet communism.”