March 08, 2016

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, ongoing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories

Once again, it's time to shoot down conspiracy theories that the mainstream media is somehow anti-Semitic in its treatment of Bernie Sanders. This is not the first, and not even the second, but the third time I've addressed it.

In the first two, I shot down the question of whether concerns about Bernie's tone of voice, etc. were hidden anti-Semitic dogwhistles. My answer? No. To many of us in flyover states, Bernie can sound at times like a loud Northeasterner. I'd say the same about Pothole Al D'Amato.

Now, it's the fact that questions of religious belief have been asked for the second time in the Democratic primary cycle.


Yes, it's possible that, at the town hall, Brett Baier knew who Denise Ghattis was to call on her. That said, the audience was fairly small, so maybe not.

As for the claims, per Chris Cuomo's question for Sanders the night before, that MSNBC is in the tank for Clinton? Puhleeze. Ask Rachel Maddow about that. The fact is, the question that Sanders doesn't talk much about his Jewishness has been on the radar screen for a while.

As for the Fox town hall? Is it also an anti-Semitic dogwhistle for Baier to ask if the label "genocide" should be used for ISIS activities against Christians? (Sanders said no, and I agreed a couple of months ago.)

And, it wasn't the second time. It was also raised, in a generic way, at the New Hampshire town hall, and I found Sanders' answer semi-cringeworthy.

Beyond all this, one of the people on my Twitter feed touting the conspiracy theory, Doug Henwood, himself backs the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions, movement against Israel, which many Zionists, and not just the hardcore, consider to be anti-Semitic itself. (Watch out for the petards, Doug.)

On my first post about this, Liza Featherstone claimed it was a big joke. Doesn't seem like it is for Henwood.

Yes, Henwood, and others like him, don't represent a huge chunk of Sanders backers. Nor do Berniebros. But, both are a percentage of Sanders backers, and the likes of Henwood have less excuse for not knowing better. Indeed, I already mentioned this in my second discussion of this issue.

It's becoming off-putting.

Actual crossing the border from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism, even if but a bit, by Alex Cockburn, was part of why I stopped reading Counterpunch, so I think I'm aware of actual anti-Semitism, and also how anti-Zionists get tagged with that.

No comments: