An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders
I have decided to write to each candidate because I have the right to express my opinion, my concerns, my fears. Because as America contemplates and prepares to go to the polls, my nation has a stake as well.
As in all things in life, a personal message is just that. It is about what is important to the person…and from the start, I will say that each person is different. Where you are in your life is likely different from where I am in mine. So if you have a different opinion, I celebrate the freedom we have to express it. This is my opinion, nothing more…and perhaps equally as important, nothing less.
The first open letter goes to Bernie Sanders – because if all was right with the world, he would be the man most able to understand my reality, my world. Ah, but he’s not and yet still I write to him first.
What should have been a celebration – a Jew running for President, is instead a great embarrassment and worse, a greater threat to Israel because though we recognize the lie and the manipulation in Bernie Sanders’ words, much of the world is fooled. No, this man is not a friend of Israel. He is, in reality, not just a Jew who lost family in the Holocaust, but, in truth, one who lost himself from his earliest years.
How is it possible that a Jew could be running for president of the United States of America? What a wonderful place we have come to in history for that to even be possible. And yet…how is it possible, if you get the nomination, God forbid, I will do all in my power to convince others not to vote for you?
The answer is actually quite simple and explains what was so wrong with Barack Obama coming to office. If America is to learn anything from the travesty that was the eight years of Obama’s reign, it is that you must vote for a person not based on the person’s color, gender, or religion but based on what the individual has done and what he or she says will happen if the voters deliver victory his or her way.
What we have in this election is a woman who hopes that despite her poor record, women will vote for her because they think there is some inherent principle that women should vote for women, that Blacks must, by definition, believe that a Black man (or woman) is the best person for the job. That is as flawed as assuming that you will be good for the Jews because you are Jewish.
The fact is, a quick review of your life will show that you haven’t really adhered to much of the Jewish religion. Other than bagels on Sunday, the religion, the essence of our faith, seems to have eluded you. You can claim no real understanding of what Judaism is…or spirituality, for that matter. Commenting on this subject in 2016, you stated, “My spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me.” That’s humanity, Bernie, not spirituality.
You seem to be very confused when it comes to the basics of Judaism, Israel, our laws and holidays. You work on Rosh Hashana and yet I’m sure you take January 1st off as New Year’s Day, don’t you, Bernie?
When someone asked you about what it means to believe in God, you said, “To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together” Well, Bernie, that’s kumbaya, not God.
Sure, it sounds great when you tell the cameras proudly that you’re “proud to be Jewish” but you see Bernie…you need to be proud you are a Jew – a noun, Bernie, not an adjective. That’s what it is to be a Jew – it is not a description, it is the essence…and even this is probably beyond your ability to comprehend.
Bernie, Judaism is so much more but you’ve spent the last 20 plus years of your life married to a Roman Catholic woman so while you’re enamored with her religion, proudly speaking of how great a man you think the Pope is, you’ve simply gone about losing your own religion. You have no understanding of Israel, that’s for sure. And, for the good of Israel AND the United States, a president has to understand the strong ties that bind our lands.
Obama hasn’t…and the relationship has suffered but more than that. Both the US and Israel were able to survive Obama’s attempts to isolate Israel because ultimately, despite your being unwilling to accept it, Israel offers tremendous benefits to the United States. It is shameful and sad that I feel that I have to point out the fact that we are the ONLY democracy in the Middle East, that we are the only nation in the Middle East to consistently stand by the US and its interests, that we stood by you on September 11, when while throughout the Middle East, others celebrated…and finally, that for all the financial aid you give to Israel, you are more than compensated by the tremendous military intelligence we share with the US military and the strong support we show consistently while most of your allies are silent.
Bernie, I will tell you one more thing. We here in Israel are watching you. We will not let you get away with slandering the Jewish State. The fact that you were born a Jew does not entitle – even you – to do that. My son was there in the Gaza war; he and thousands of other Israelis worked around the clock to do two things – the first was to stop the missile fire coming from Gaza into Israeli cities. The second was to do all that was humanly possible to minimize casualties on the Palestinian side. They held fire when it was clear there were civilians nearby; they dropped leaflets warning civilians to get out of the way. They used precision weapons as far from what was being fired at us as humanly possible. And you…do you condemn Hamas for firing at hundreds of thousands of people? Do you praise Israel for the tremendous efforts we made to protect our own civilians while trying not to harm theirs?
No…none of that for good old, Bernie. You have to lie…worse, use Hamas to guide you. Ten thousand innocent civilians, Bernie? Is that the best you could come up with? More than five times the actual number! And then, days later, when hundreds of programs and articles and individuals call you on your “error”, what do you do? You admit that you were wrong…and then proceed to be wrong again. So, with your second “estimate,” you still overestimate by at least 25%…even the UN numbers show you are wrong. Why, Bernie?
Why would a man who proclaims that he is proud to be a Jew, slander the Jewish State?
Bernie, I’ll be honest with you. There isn’t a chance in hell that I’ll vote for you. What I will say, is that I will be watching you…me…and all Israelis. This isn’t the first time the huge chasm between Israel and the American Jewish community has centered around politics and political choice. It probably won’t be the last.
So, from Israel, I tell you, Bernie, that we will show more honor than you. Unlike you, we will be honest and we will watch. And just as you clearly feel no reason to show any special consideration to Israel just because you were born into the Jewish religion, let me assure you that just because you were born a Jew, that doesn’t mean we have to support you.
So the lines have been drawn, Bernie. Fact is, no one thinks you are going to win…there won’t be a Jewish president in the White House…at least not starting in January 2017. What there will be, however, is one man pushed to the wall to declare his true feelings, who proved that he is no friend of Israel. So, Bernie, perhaps something good has come of this election.
We in Israel have felt the “bern”…and now we send it right back at you. Israel will not support Bernie Sanders for president.
And, on a personal note, as it appears you have no Jewish children or grandchildren, I will say that your greatest failure won’t be the loss of this election; it will be the carelessness with which you abandoned the people of your father and mother.