Dershowitz: ‘Sanders is the Jeremy Corbyn of the United States’

“Electing Sanders as president will give legitimacy to hatred of Israel,” Dershowitz said.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Internationally renowned lawyer Alan Dershowitz compared one of the current front-runners in the Democratic primaries to the anti-Semitic British Labour leader on Wednesday.

“[Bernie] Sanders is the Jeremy Corbyn of the United States,” he said. He was speaking at an event publicizing a book on the Palestinian academic and cultural boycott of Israel written by two senior researchers of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

“Electing Sanders as president will give legitimacy to hatred of Israel,” Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz has disapproved of Sanders for several years, but revved up his opposition before the primary season began earlier this month.

“If Sanders gets the nomination, I will actively campaign against him,” he said on an American talk show on politics ahead of the Iowa caucus. “I will follow him from state to state, urging Americans to vote against him.”

When asked why, he said that Sanders had endorsed Jeremy Corbyn for prime minister of the United Kingdom, which was a “red line” for him. Corbyn, he said was “one of the men who has most promoted and tolerated anti-Semitism in England and in Europe.”

Sanders had endorsed the Labour leader in 2017, but not in the most recent round of elections in the UK.

Dershowitz compared Sanders to other famous American Jewish intellectuals who have harshly criticized Israel, such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein.

“Some of the worst people in terms of not promoting Jewish values are Jews, that’s no excuse,” he said.

Sanders aroused protest after calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “reactionary racist” at a Tuesday debate in South Carolina. The senator from Vermont had also said that returning the American embassy to Tel Aviv was “something we would take into consideration” if he was elected.

Michael Bloomberg, another primary candidate at the debate, immediately slammed Sanders for his statement.

“You can’t move the embassy back. We should not have done it without getting something from the Israeli government, but it was done and you’re going to have to leave it there,” he said.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz called Sanders’ name-calling “shocking” and said that his position on Jerusalem goes against “matters that are at the core of Jewish belief, Jewish history, and Israel’s security.”

If Sanders doesn’t recognize Jerusalem “in its entirety as Israel’s capital,” as President Trump did in his peace plan and by moving the embassy in the first place, “Naturally, people who very much support Israel will not tend to support him,” Katz said.