Bernie Sanders’ Israel Hating Advisers
By Adam Kredo
Washington Free Beacon
February 8, 2016
Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders has tapped
several critics of Israel to advise him on foreign policy, including one who has
compared Israelis to “Nazis” and accused them of waging “a Holocaust.”
Sanders, who is Jewish and had family members slaughtered
during the Holocaust, recently disclosed that his top foreign policy advisers
include J Street, a dovish Middle East advocacy group that backs some
of Congress’ most vocal critics of
Israel, former assistant Secretary of Defense Larry Korb, and James Zogby, an
Israel detractor who heads the Arab American Institute.
The inclusion of these advisers in the Sanders’ campaign,
which has already come under fire forignoring prominent
Jewish-American political organizations, has prompted speculation from some that
the presidential hopeful will pursue anti-Israel foreign policy priorities.
“Bernie seems to care very little about foreign policy,
and so his views are shaped inordinately by advisers,” said Noah Pollak,
executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, an advocacy
organization. “And now we know who those advisers are. Two of them—Zogby and
J Street—are leading anti-Israel apologists for terrorism. By his association
with these extremist groups, Bernie fails the commander-in-chief test.”
A majority of voters, including Jewish ones, tend to pick a
president who pursues policies supportive of the Jewish state, according to numerous polls.
With wars still raging in the Middle East and the issue of
Iran’s nuclear program still dominating the headlines, foreign policy and
support for Israel could factor even more heavily into the 2016 election.
Sanders tends to avoid foreign policy when stumping on the
campaign trail, leading some to speculate that his advisers could play a major
role in molding the potential president’s views.
“If advisers are a crystal ball to the future of foreign
policy, then Sanders seeks a policy which doubles down on many of the failed
assumptions that have undercut Obama’s policies,” said Michael Rubin, a
former Pentagon adviser and terrorism analyst. “America’s adversaries are
real and are motivated by ideology rather than grievance. To rest American
national security on the good will of anti-American despots and Islamists is
never a good gamble.”
Zogby has accused the
Jewish state of committing a “Holocaust” against the Palestinians and has referred
to Israelis as “Nazis.” He has also described sitting members of Congress as
“Israel firsters,” an anti-Semitic trope that implies dual loyalty to the
Zogby also has come under fire for exploiting the
memory of the Holocaust for political purposes.
Zogby claimed in a 2010 blog post
for the Huffington Post that “the plight of Palestinians is to the Arabs, what
the Holocaust is to Jews world-wide.”
His comparison immediately drew outrage, with researchers
from the UK Media Watch organization describing it
as “grievously insulting.”
“Nothing that I could say to highlight his words would
make them any more insulting or horrid than they are on their own,” a
representative of that group wrote at the time.
“Zogby has two goals: to make Arab Americans more
powerful than Jewish Americans and to be their preeminent leader,” Yehudit
Barsky, a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and
Policy, wrote in
a profile about Zogby’s anti-Israel attitudes.
J Street has faced similar criticism for its efforts to
pressure Israel into making security concessions to the Palestinians that could
endanger its survival.
J Street accused the
Jewish state of “fanning growing flames of anti-Semitism” due to its efforts
to stop daily attacks on civilians during Israel’s 2014 battle against Hamas
The group’s leaders also have accused leading Israeli
politicians of being racists.
J Street, which lobbies in
Congress, supports many leading critics of Israel and has worked to defeat the
Jewish state’s defenders.
Mainstream members of the pro-Israel community have
repeatedly called on J Street to be isolated and excluded from the debate due to
its extremist policies.
A majority of voters also have expressed
opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, one of J Street’s top
priorities. Sanders also backs the
Korb, a Sanders adviser and top official at the Center for
American Progress, lobbied in
favor of the Iran deal and has said that military action against the Islamic
Republic is not an option.
“Sanders commitment to get foreign policy advice from
these three folks is indicative that his time on a kibbutz in Israel did little
else than to instill in him a love for farming,” said Mark McNulty, the
Republican Jewish Coalition’s spokesman. “J Street and Zogby are more
committed to tearing down our relationship with Israel than providing sound
policy advice. The choice for Democrat Jews is stark and the more they learn the
more a GOP candidate committed to restoring our place in the world is an