Can a Jew be an antisemite?

Bernie Sanders proves that the answer can be yes.

Dov Hikind

OpEds Bernie Sanders at J Street Conference
Bernie Sanders at J Street Conference

Calling a Jew an antisemite is one of the most difficult things a person who fights antisemitism has to do. Judaism tolerates dissent to a great degree, but arming antisemites with one’s Jewishness is perhaps the greatest and most vile of sins one Jew can commit against another. That’s why Bernie Sanders rightfully deserves to be called an antisemite.

There’s no other way to explain his absolute lovefest with now notorious antisemites like Ilhan “Israel hypnotized the world” Omar and Rashida “the Holocaust gives me a comforting feeling” Tlaib, both of whom have endorsed his candidacy for president. We know he agrees with his socialist comrade Jeremy Corbyn, incidentally also a notorious antisemite, when it comes to being friends with Hamas and funneling them millions of dollars, even though those millions go to rockets that are aimed and fired with the open intention to kill and terrorize millions of Jews.

Does Sanders, who claims to be so aware of his Jewish history, also think that Israel is borne of Jewish supremacy?
But what absolutely confirms that Bernie is a self-hating Jew who uses his identity to provide cover to the worst kind of Jew-haters like Linda “don’t humanize Israelis” Sarsour, his proud presidential campaign surrogate, is his lack of reaction to her latest antisemitic tirade.

Sarsour’s recent comments claiming that Israel “was built on the idea that Jews are supreme to everybody else” didn’t garner as much as a response from Sanders let alone rebuke, or what a normal person would do: dissociate from the hater, and repudiate their hatred.

What is one to think when Sanders fails to distance himself from his coterie of antisemites? That he’s unaware of their seething hatred? That he knowingly accepts it because he needs their support? Or worst of all possibilities, he actually believes in every word they’ve said? Does Sanders, who claims to be so aware of his Jewish history, also think that Israel is borne of Jewish supremacy?

The record of Omar’s, Tlaib’s, Corbyn’s, and Sarsour’s well-documented antisemitism is so expansive that it’s impossible to be unaware of their baggage. That Sanders knowingly accepts it because rejecting them would hurt him in the polls is obvious and clear. That Sanders actually believes the same antisemitic drivel is questionable, but so far he’s done nothing to quell those concerns. Instead he’s reinforced the notion that even a Jew can be an antisemite, and when they are, they end up being worse than the antisemites themselves. With Jews like Bernie, who needs antisemites?