Abe Foxman Calls on Sanders to Fire Zimmerman

Bernie Sanders should fire his new Jewish Outreach Director over past anti-Israel comments, former ADL head Abe Foxman told Jewish Insider on Thursday.

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Wednesday that the campaign’s newly hired Jewish outreach director Simone Zimmerman wrote an expletive-laden Facebook post last year that condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a mass-murderer. “Bibi Netanyahu is an arrogant, deceptive, cynical, manipulative a**hole,” wrote Zimmerman, a former J Street student activist, in the March 3, 2015 post. “F**k you, Bibi … you sanctioned the murder of over 2,000 people this summer.” At a later date, Zimmerman edited the post, replacing “a**hole” with “politician” and “F**k you” with “shame on you.” The Free Beacon obtained screenshots of the original and edited posts.

The comments, along with other controversial comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, caused an uproar in the Jewish community, just a week before the April 19 New York presidential primary. A Twitter account under the name of “Jew for Bernie” pushed back against the critics and described them as right-wing extremists. “Like seriously, why do all these Jewish right-wing extremists think that Bernie has to answer to them about anything???” @jewsforbernie tweeted on Wednesday. “Bernie’s not running to get the anti-Arab/Islamophobic vote. We’re fine with that.”

“I am not a ‘right wing extremist’ in the words of ‘Jewish Friends of Bernie’, and I believe Bernie Sanders needs to fire Simone Zimmerman,” Foxman said in an email to Jewish Insider. “No amount of word changes can cure her ugly characterization of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Israeli army and people defending themselves.”

Morton Klein, president of ZOA, told Jewish Insider that Zimmerman’s language was worse than the language used by Trump against Megan Kelly and others. “Zimmerman exhibits a naïve and inane understanding of Arab/Islamic war against Israel and the West,” Klein said. “Zimmerman was not only a member of the anti-Israel J Street, but she wholeheartedly supports BDS,  insensitive to the greater economic pain it causes Palestinians compared to the Jews. Where is her and Bernie [Sanders]’s sensitivity to the substantial losses of Palestinian Arab good paying jobs BDS causes? Furthermore, extremist Zimmerman thinks Israel should not respond to thousands of Hamas missiles attempting to murder innocent Jews. The Jews should simply die, I guess. Zimmerman falsely proclaims Israel is ‘racist,’ while ignoring Abbas’ screaming that no Jew will be allowed to live in any future Palestinian state, and while denying women’s and gays human rights. She uses profanity against Netanyahu, but praises Abbas despite his calling on the Palestinians to shed their blood and murder Jews in the name of Allah.”

Klein added that the appointment of Zimmerman, “may tell us more about Bernie Sanders’ judgement and his frightening  radical policies and treatment of our allies than anything else has. The ZOA urges Bernie to fire her before he gets ‘berned’ further by her.”

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