Bernie Sanders the optimist

Dave Weigel tweets out the following.

Really, Bernie? The Republicans painted John Kerry, who fought in Vietnam and was injured twice, as some kind of coward who pretended to have been injured, while their own candidate George W. Bush got a safe stateside post in the Texas Air National Guard. They have shown that facts do not stand in the way of smearing anyone.

The Israel lobby, the evangelical right, and the Republicans have already shown that they have no hesitation in branding anyone who is critical of Israel’s policies in any way, whether they be Jewish or not, as anti-Semites or self-hating Jews. This kind of smearing is what they are good at. There are many, many progressive Jews who have been at the receiving end of such treatment.

But what has happened is that the indiscriminate use of the anti-Semitism brush has resulted in it becoming less effective as a way of silencing these critics This is why the Israel lobby and its allies have raised the stakes, trying to pass laws in state legislatures that explicitly seek to combat support for the BDS movement and to suppress criticisms of Israel.

They are also aggressively trying to have speech codes created at universities that would seek to silence student groups that are similarly critical. The campus move is considered a priority since younger Jews are increasingly no longer seeing their Jewish identity inextricably linked to unquestioning support for everything Israel does. Indeed, many see the tragic history of the Jewish people as motivating them to protest the awful treatment that Israel is meting out to the Palestinians under their control.


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