Thursday, January 28, 2016

Senator Bernard Sanders-Presidential Democrat Candidate

Nadene Goldfoot                                                     

The Junior Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, Independant Democrat and a Socialist,  was born on September 8, 1941 to  to Dorothy (née Glassberg) and Eli Sanders  and raised in the borough of Brooklyn, in New York City, so he'll be 75 years old in September.  He would be good for one term, starting at age 75 and finishing at age 79.  His father was born on September 19, 1904, in SłopnicePoland  to a Jewish family, and emigrated to the United States in 1921. Eli's family was killed in the Holocaust.  His mother was born  on October 2, 1912 in New York City  to Jewish immigrant parents from Poland and Russia.  He attended Hebrew school in the afternoons, and celebrated his bar mitzvah in 1954 at age 13.  Growing up during the days of Nazis and the Holocaust shaped his interest in politics.  He spent several months on an Israeli kibbutz.  

Bernie graduated from the University of Chicago in 1964 with a BA in political science. While a student, Sanders was a member of the Young People's Socialist League and an active civil rights protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.  In 1963, he attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech.

After settling in Burlington, Vermont in 1968, Sanders ran unsuccessful third-party campaigns for governor and U.S. senator in the early to mid-1970s. As an independent, he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont's most populous city in 1981. Burlington's population in 2013 was 42,284.  It has several synagogues.  

In 1985, Burlington City Hall hosted a foreign policy speech by Noam Chomsky. In his introduction, Sanders praised Chomsky as "a very vocal and important voice in the wilderness of intellectual life in America" and said he was "delighted to welcome a person who I think we're all very proud of."

Noam Chomsky, yes, also Jewish, is one of the worst Israel bashers that I have run across besides his good friend, Norman Finkelstein. Noam has his degree in Linguistics but thinks he's the last word on Israel and the Palestinians.   If Bernie is going by what Chomsky thinks, no wonder he hasn't been very vocal about Israel.  I'm proud that he has retained some feeling for even being Jewish or that he evens has some feeling for Israel.   

  In 1988, Sanders married Jane O’Meara Driscoll (née Mary Jane O'Meara), who then became president of Burlington College, in Burlington, Vermont.  Their wedding trip was to Yaroslavl in the Soviet Union.  
He has one son.   This son, Levi Sanders, was born in 1969 to Susan Campbell Mott. He considers Mary Jane O'Meara's 3 children like his own, however.  She is his present wife.  
"Sanders has said he is "proud to be Jewish" but "not particularly religious.  His wife is Roman Catholic, and he has frequently expressed admiration for Pope Francis, saying that "the leader of the Catholic Church is raising profound issues. It is important that we listen to what he has said." Sanders shares Francis's beliefs on economic equality and has described him as "incredibly smart and brave."
As for his views on Israel, he has been critical but supportive.  He has been quite non committal about Israel to the press, but  is best friends with Richard Sugarman, a professor of Jewish philosophy at the University of Vermont who champions Zionism to his left-leaning students. His other best friend – and former chief of staff – is Huck Gutman, a University of Vermont professor of literature who is a passionate aficionado of the poetry of Yehuda Amichai.
When in Los Angeles campaigning on August 10th, he had  the comedian, Sarah Silverman, introduce him, so she left out her caustic Jewish attacks that she considers funny.  Sanders sees himself as "an old Jew."  
"Sanders’ well-known pique surfaced in June when Diane Rehm, the NPR talk show host, declaratively told him he had dual US-Israel citizenship, citing an anti-Semitic meme circulating on the Internet.

“Well, no, I do not have dual citizenship with Israel,” Sanders said. “I’m an American. I don’t know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.”
He backs Israel, but he believes in spending less on defense assistance to Israel and more on economic assistance in the Middle East. Of all the senators who do back Israel, why does it have to be a Jewish one who is ready to cut the important defense assistance?  

Do I think Israel has the right to exist? Yeah, I do. Do I believe that the United States should be playing an even-handed role in terms of its dealings with the Palestinian community in Israel? Absolutely I do.  He had been asked if he considered himself a Zionist and questioned what that was.  

He went on to explain to the Jerusalem Post newspaper that,  "Again, I think that you have volatile regions in the world, the Middle East is one of them, and the United States has got to work with other countries around the world to fight for Israel’s security and existence at the same time as we fight for a Palestinian state where the people in that country can enjoy a decent standard of living, which is certainly not the case right now. My long-term hope is that instead of pouring so much military aid into Israel, into Egypt, we can provide more economic aid to help improve the standard of living of the people living in that area." 

Ugh, it is the uninformed that think poverty is the cause of all problems.  Bernie should only know how much money the friends of Palestinians have given them only to see it spent on making and buying bombs and creating tunnels in order to bring in weapons and to use to kidnap Jews.  Israel has even had to pay their electricity bill!  

Perhaps the reason Sanders said this is  that Sanders is a self-proclaimed Socialist and is very naive about Jewish and Israeli history and facts. He knows very little about what Israel has done or the problems they face from this response, even though he lived on a kibbutz for a few months long ago.  He's 74 years old now and like he said, his interests are the USA and obviously they  haven't been on Israel.    He sees problems only through a socialist's eyes.  This is sad if he becomes president and must make decisions that gravely affect Israel.      

What is socialism?  The Webster dictionary defines it as any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.  It's a  system of society or group living in which there is no private property.  Socialism is in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.  It is also a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done. 

Russia, of course, is a communistic country.  Germany was a socialist state.  The Nazi Party was from "The National Socialist German Workers' Party."  which fought against the communist uprisings in post-World War I Germany.  The party was created as a means to draw workers away from communism and into völkischnationalism.   Initially, Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big businessanti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although such aspects were later downplayed in order to gain the support of industrial entities, and in the 1930s the party's focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes.  Of course, Sweden has a king, but it is socialistic and many feel it is not an example of successful socialism.  Israel has the kibbutz, which is a socialistic way of life, but they also are into individual success, too, having more business start-ups than most other countries.    

Yes, I question the difference between Communism and Socialism.  I'm not the only one. "The majority of self-declared socialist countries have been Marxist–Leninist states inspired by the example of the Soviet Union. They share a common definition of "socialism" and they refer to themselves as socialist states on the road to communism."

This is the exact opposite of the Republican party who believes in small government and feels that the Democratic government of Obama has grown too large.   It could be too small for Sanders.  


1 comment:

  1. Bernie's biological son, 46 year old Levi Sanders, has a few interesting things to say about his father.