Simone Zimmerman, who briefly worked for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, has been hired as U.S. director for anti-Israel NGO B’Tselem.
By World Israel News Staff
B’Tselem has hired Simone Zimmerman as its U.S. director, the organization announced on Tuesday.
Zimmerman is best known for working briefly as the Jewish outreach coordinator for Sen. Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign, a job she held for all of two days.
She was let go after remarks she made in March 2015 on Facebook came to light in which she described Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “arrogant, deceptive, cynical, manipulative a**hole.” She also directed an “f** you” at the prime minister.
In a press release, B’Tselem said that Zimmerman would work “to amplify B’Tselem’s voice among U.S. policymakers and the broader public.”
“As a Jewish activist who has worked for years to challenge my own community’s denialism about the reality of the occupation, I am excited to take on my new role at B’Tselem USA,” Zimmerman said.
“I hope to deepen the partnership between the anti-occupation movements working on the ground and those working here in the USA.”
Zimmerman, 28, has taken an increasingly radical trajectory since attending U.C. Berkeley, where she started with mainstream views about Israel, according to her own statements. She then joined J Street and was named president of its student organization, J Street U, in 2012.
Afterwards, Zimmmerman co-founded IfNotNow, whose goal is “to end the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation,” and whose activities mainly include protests and sit-ins. IfNotNow made headlines last year for exploiting free Birthright trips designed to introduce Diaspora Jews to Israel in order to stage political theater.
In at least one case, IfNotNow participants walked off in the middle of the trip, claiming their questions about the Israel-Arab conflict had not been answered, an account disputed by all the other members of the trip in a Haaretz op-ed, who described the rude, aggressive and premeditated behavior by the left-wing activists throughout the journey.
B’Tselem, which routinely accuses Israel of “apartheid” and “war crimes,” goes further than IfNotNow, condemning Israel on the world stage. In October, 2018, B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad delivered a damning speech before the U.N. Security Council, accusing Israel of apartheid and criticizing the IDF, the Netanyahu government, and the Israel judiciary, among other Israeli institutions and figures.
His words were roundly condemned by Israel Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon.