Jewish and religious leaders must denounce Sanders’s campaign aides

Newly named senior adviser Phillip Agnew/Umi Selah has accused Israel of committing “genocide and ethnic cleaning,” and said “Palestinian children are met with tear gas and rubber bullets as they walk home from school.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.
Morton A. Klein
Morton A. Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

Louis Farrakhan and David Duke are surely thrilled about the long list of Jew-hating Israel-bashers working for U.S. presidential candidate Senator  Bernie Sanders. The Sanders squad of Jew-hating surrogates and senior campaign advisers includes Linda Sarsour; Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.); Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.); Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.); Amer Zahr; Faiz Shakir; and Sanders’s most recently appointed senior adviser, Phillip Agnew (aka Umi Selah).

No major presidential candidate in U.S. history has had this many overt anti-Semites working for him or her. It’s truly frightening.

Yet there has been a deafening silence from our leaders on this critical matter. If a presidential candidate surrounded him/herself with anti-black bigots, we’d all be screaming. Why are so many silent now?

As president of the Zionist Organization of America, I urge ADL CEO and national director Jonathan Greenblatt, executive director of the American Jewish Committee David Harris, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Arthur Stark and Conference of Presidents CEO William Daroff, AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr, B’nai B’rith CEO Dan Mariaschin and other Jewish Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist leaders, as well as Christian and Muslim leaders, to join the ZOA’s demand that Sanders immediately fire all of these Jew-hating, Israel-hating bigots.

Here is a brief synopsis of some of the ugliness and hatred displayed by these top aides:

Agnew/Selah co-founded the Jew-hating Israelophobic group “Dream Defenders.” He strongly supports the anti-Israel BDS movement and falsely wrote in Ebony magazine that Zionism is a “racist, exploitative, exclusionary, ethnic ideology.” He also falsely said, “Zion is hell on earth for millions” and falsely characterized the “occupation of Palestine” as “murderous.”

He posted Dream Defenders’ common-core-compatible “rebellion curriculum” series for sixth- to 11th-graders, which glorifies the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization. The “curriculum” calls all of Israel “occupied Palestine”; speaks of destroying Israel; and “liberating Palestine from Israeli rule” as “the best way to create a Communist, working-class party”; and mentions PFLP tactics including “hijackings, assassinations, car bombings, suicide bombings and paramilitary operations against civilian and military targets,” in addition to the killing of Israel’s Tourism Minister.

The Dream Defenders’ curriculum concludes that the PFLP seeks “to be free from global imperialism. They want liberation. They want equal rights. Just like the Dream Defenders.”

Bear in mind that presidential candidates’ advisers and surrogates are often given cabinet posts if their candidate wins the election. If appointed to an education department cabinet post, Agnew/Selah would likely try to cram the same anti-Semitic propaganda curriculum down the throats of every American child.

Agnew/Selah also participated in a “Dream Defenders” trip to Israel and the areas of Judea and Samaria controlled by the Palestinian Authority, led by PFLP supporter Ahmad Abuznaid, during which the trip participants harassed Israeli soldiers, called for BDS against Israel and met with PFLP affiliate Addameer. He falsely wrote that he “saw cold, calculated racism and ethnic privilege masquerading as a Jewish state.” The trip participants also met with BDS founder Omar Barghouti and Diana Buttu, Hamas defender and PLO spokesperson during the Second Intifada, during in which Arab terrorists murdered more than 1,500 Jews and maimed 10,000 Jews from 2000-05.

Agnew/Selah also falsely accuses Israel of committing “genocide and ethnic cleaning.” He falsely said that “Palestinian children are met with tear gas and rubber bullets as they walk home from school.”

On non-Israel issues, he frighteningly demands that the United States must abolish prisons and police forces, end capitalism and have open borders. And on Facebook, Agnew/Selah thanked Ferguson demonstrators for throwing Molotov cocktails at police. (He posted: “yes, #thankyouferguson for your Molotov.”)

Despite all of this ugly, radical, maniacal Jew-hatred, Sanders stated, “I am excited to welcome Phillip to the team” as “one of our generation’s most critical voices.”

Omar falsely called Israel an “evil” “apartheid” state; falsely claimed that Israel “hypnotized the world”; used anti-Semitic tropes; and compared boycotting Israel to boycotting Nazi Germany. She also pleaded with a judge to show leniency to convicted ISIS terrorists and sponsored legislation (co-sponsored by the others on Sanders’s squad) to help anti-Israel BDS. Despite this, at a March 2 rally in Virginia, Sanders called Omar “one of the greatest people I know.”

Tlaib urged ending all U.S. relations and all U.S. aid to the “racist” State of Israel, supports Israel’s destruction in favor of an Arab-dominated state, and falsely claimed that Israel is not a democracy. She also praised convicted Jew-killer Rasmeah Odeh; falsely condemned Israel for murdering an Arab child by throwing him down a well;  closely associates with terrorists and anti-Semites; and removed Israel from her congressional office map. This week, Tlaib tweeted a picture of her wearing a T-shirt with a map of all of Israel as Palestine.

Ocasio-Cortez called Israel a country of “white supremacists” and supported Arab rioting against Jews. She also falsely claimed Israel is committing massacres in Gaza, and that Israel is denying Arabs access to clean water. She has also gone on the record as praising former British Labour Party leader and anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn.

Sanders’s campaign aide Amer Zahr compares Israel to ISIS and Nazis, denies the Jewish people’s connection to Israel, supports anti-Israel BDS, and falsely claimed Israel is engaged in a “Jewish Jihad,” and has policies of extrajudicial killings and  massacres of Arabs.

Another campaign aide is the well-known Israel-hater Linda Sarsour. She has praises Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan and convicted Jew-killer Rasmeah Odeh; states “nothing is creepier than Zionism”; tweeted that she wished she could take away the vaginas of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Brigitte Gabriel away because of their pro-Jewish, pro-Israel, anti-Islamist stances; and touted rock-throwing Arabs as “the definition of courage.” Sarsour also supports the intifada/terror war against Jews and demands that we “stop humanizing Jews.”

Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir is a strong supporter of anti-Israel BDS, spearheads efforts to undermine anti-BDS laws, and was involved in the ThinkProgress blog incident regarding staffers who used anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish dual loyalty and domination of money and politics.

Morton A. Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America. 

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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