Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Bernie Sanders Dodges Question On Whether He Feels Safe As A Jew In America

Senator Bernie Sanders skirted around a question about whether he, as a Jewish presidential candidate, feels less safe in America today, saying it’s “not only Jews” who have been targeted.

On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, host Jake Tapper called on Sanders to comment on the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend. Tapper ended his interview with a question about another racially motivated massacre: the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 Jews were killed at prayer last year.

“After the Tree of life shooting, which was also part of this deranged, white-supremacist theory of Jews bringing in Latinos to commit white genocide on this country so this was no longer a ‘white country.’ Again this is an insane conspiracy theory from the far fringes of the fever swamps of the internet,” Tapper said. “But that is what motivated the Tree of Life terrorist against Jews. You would be the first jewish president, and I’m wondering if you feel less comfortable, less safe in America today than you did 10 or 20 years ago.”

Sanders jumped right in: “Jake, it’s not only Jews,” he said. “And you’re right — I went to that synagogue in Pittsburgh and talked to the rabbi there, and what a horrible shooting that was.”

It was the last time Sanders mentioned Jews in his answer.

“It is the African American community that have to deal with the mowing down of people in a church in their community, it is the Muslim community today. … It is the Latino community, it is the gay community,” he said.

Sanders condemned President Trump, “a president who is very deliberately trying to divide us up based on our religion, based on where we came from, based on the color of our skin.”

“That is so un-American,” he said. “We have got to come together as a people, and we can’t let the NRA dominate the conversation.”

Alyssa Fisher is a writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.