February 27, 2020

IN FAIRNESS TO BERNIE...:

Where was Bernie when Americans fought for Soviet Jewry? (Jonathan S. Tobin, 2/27/20, Jewish News Syndicate)

Cold War controversies seem irrelevant today. But it's worth asking why, when most American Jews were demanding freedom for Soviet Jewry and denouncing the anti-Semitic nature of the Communist regime, Bernie Sanders was not there. While Jews who cared about the fate of their brethren were demonstrating in the streets about Soviet tyranny and advocating for Prisoners of Zion, Sanders was denouncing American foreign policy aimed at pressuring his Russian friends. When some heroic Jews went to Russian to aid oppressed Jews and other dissidents, Sanders was traveling the world proclaiming his sympathy with Soviet allies and then honeymooning in the Socialist Motherland itself.

He may now depict himself as a champion of the underdog. But by the time Sanders became a public figure in the 1980s, the ideological romance of Socialism was long over, and all that was left was a struggle against tyranny in which his sympathies lay with the tyrants whom he imagined deserved support in their fight against American imperialism. There is no available evidence that he ever lifted a finger to fight for Soviet Jews.

We may not care today about the politics of the 1960s in which Sanders's identity was forged; however, the struggle for Soviet Jewry was the great Jewish moral test of the subsequent decades, and it is one he failed. If he asks us to trust him now to ensure that the 7 million Jews of Israel are not endangered by his policies, it's worth asking why he once thought defending Socialism was more important than the fate of millions of Soviet Jews. That is a question of morality, not ancient history.

...he's not Jewish and the fate of the oppressed in the USSR was not a Jewish issue but a human one.  That is the count Left/Right fail on.

Posted by at February 27, 2020 9:22 AM

  

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