For final selections to win the presidency we have a choice between a fascist, a potential jail bird, a religious fanatic, and a lost in the sixties Ben and Jerry’s commie. Thanks a lot.

I was watching Bernie Sanders at the Democratic debate last weekend and it occurred to me why lefties like him hate Israel. Yes, you can criticize Israel and not hate it. That is not what Bernie and the left do. They blame Israel and its “policies” for all the ills in the world.

Poverty in Gaza and Palestinians areas?  It is the settlements, the occupation.

Wars against Israel? It is the occupation, and settlements.

Missiles fired against Jewish communities?  It is the occupation and settlements. If only, the policies from Israel would change … Israel is second only to the United States in the blame game as the center of the world’s ills.

There are only a few things that really fire up the Bern (excuse the pun). Billionaires, millionaires, Goldman Sachs and Israel. Terrorists… not so much. Threats from Russia, certainly not a big deal for a guy who honeymooned in Moscow.

Please excuse me, Donald Trump, for stealing this line, but you could see blood coming out of Bernie’s eyes when he spoke about Israel and being Jewish. His passion and praise was focused on the Palestinians and their needs, and as I am writing this, another bus was bombed in Jerusalem.

Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. (AP/Elaine Thompson)

Bernie says that being Jewish shouldn’t affect him as a candidate. This is not a problem since he hasn’t seen the inside of a synagogue on a holiday since Moses gave us the 15 – ooops, er, Ten Commandments.  So let’s just forget the Jew stuff. Sure, he is from Brooklyn and he sounds Jewish and he has the sarcasm thing down pretty well, but Jewish? Nahhh…

Now let’s focus on Israel. You see, Bernie spent some time in his formative youth on a Kibbutz in northern Israel. This wasn’t just any kibbutz, it was a communist one modeled after the Soviet Union. I would bet you a red kippah that this was not a nationalist movement, but a utopian Marxist collective.

That is where people like Barack Obama and the far left start with their view of Israel. The good old days when Israel was run by Labor and it was filled with Kibbutzim pushing for a utopian society is how they view Israel.  This is what our president said in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg recently:

Obama: “Kibbutzim, and Moshe Dayan, and Golda Meir, and the sense that not only are we creating a safe Jewish homeland, but also we are remaking the world. We’re repairing it. We are going to do it the right way. We are going to make sure that the lessons we’ve learned from our hardships and our persecutions are applied to how we govern and how we treat others.” 

Israeli Nationalism vs. Leftist Utopia

So the left were the original supporters of Israel. Then a few things happened. 1. Many Jews who were persecuted in Arab countries immigrated to Israel. Over a million Russians who were escaping a huge Marxist collective (the Soviet Union) and then the Ethiopians. 2. The 1967 Six Day War, when many in Israel felt that they were facing another Holocaust. Israel did what no one thought that they could: they won. The 1948 ceasefire line after the partition was changed. Israel captured the heart of its ancient homeland – Judea and Samaria and the Old City of Jerusalem.

Flag dance Jerusalem

Thousands of Israelis celebrate Jerusalem Day, marking liberation of the Old City in 1967. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

This did not fit the leftist mold. After all, nationalism is not exactly a utopian concept. Proud Jews who now identify with a country (Israel) are no longer flocking to socialist utopian experiments any longer. Jews were strong, defending themselves and most importantly were proud of their heritage and their national identity. This is not good in the eyes of a leftist who supports open borders and collectives and who is anti-nationalist.

A friend of mine who is married to reform clergy once said upon her return from Israel that Israel is no longer the country that she knew and loved. What was different?  This was not an Ashkenazi (white, eastern European) socialist paradise any longer. It had real people from all over the world and real problems. There are secular Jews, Russians, Sephardim and those pesky haredim (ultra-orthodox religious Jews). In short, Israel was a real country with real people, not some sort of a fantasy. Wasn’t that one of the main ideas of Zionism?  To have a homeland for the Jews who were forced out of every country, or murdered? At least I always thought it was.

Bernie has a Problem with Netanyahu

So back to Bernie, he doesn’t identify as Jewish and he barely supported Israel over the years. I have friends and even family who feel the same way as Bernie does about Israel. Netanyahu is a war monger, they say. How dare he come to the United States to speak to Congress? How can he oppose this Iran nuclear deal? I hear and see the same kind of shrill from the gut reaction to Israel that I saw from Bernie. To these people and to Bernie, they love the idea of a country living the socialist dream, but they don’t exactly like the real people living in it. Why? People are not perfect. That is a problem for a utopia.

Netanyahu addresses Congress

PM Benjamin Netanyahu receives a standing ovation during address to US Congress in March 2016. (AP)

So when it comes to Jews living in border communities facing daily rocket barrages, the left excuse these Jews as just “settlers,” the latest pejorative used against Jews. Settlers = Jews = people.

These social justice fanatics in some way almost feel like these “settlers” deserve what they have coming to them. So when Israel dares to defend itself and its national identity, the left goes apoplectic.

You see, while it is nice to perfect the world, they don’t seem to understand that the world is not perfect and that when you are living in a country facing much danger, things that are “messy” – like wars, police actions, even comparative brutality – may be necessary for survival.

So from the comforts of their cushy homes around the world, the left wants Israel (the Israel that they long for, not the real Israel) to take chances for peace. Chances that they would not take if they were living a few miles away from bloodthirsty savages trying to kill them and your families.

Bernie, I don’t feel the Bern for you, so please cut the Jew stuff and just focus on your hatred of billionaires, banks, and millionaires.

Article by Larry Levine

Originally from Long Island, New York, Larry Levine lives in Columbus Ohio. He is an award-winning businessman/pro-Israel activist, writer. Also a standup comedian and talk show host whose guests included Jay Leno, Alexander Haig and Paul Reiser.