Bernie & Israel

Politico has a piece on “Bernie and Israel: It’s complicated”. The piece is interesting less for Sanders’ actually views on Israel (he’s got the typical Leftist’s healthy sympathies for Palestinians) than for the piece’s inherent presumptions about what one’s views ought to be on Israel, when one is a Jewish Democrat:

If Bernie Sanders defeats Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination, he’ll be the first Jewish presidential nominee of a major political party.

But when it comes to his views on Israel, some Jewish Democrats are scratching their heads in confusion.

“His voting record on Israel recently is fine, absolutely fine,” said Steve Rabinowitz, a media consultant and former Clinton White House aide who supports Clinton. “I haven’t heard him once talk about it on the campaign trail. It’s as though he doesn’t utter the world Israel. It just strikes me as odd.”

But over his career Sanders has cast some votes and made critical statements about Israel that unnerve some in the pro-Israel community. That’s all the more puzzling, some say, given his own heritage as the son of a Jewish immigrant father from Poland whose family was wiped out by the Nazis — and someone who spent time working on an Israeli kibbutz.

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