On Saturday, Bernie Sanders observed Passover by shilling for Hamas.
The Gaza terrorist group had spent weeks planning a violent demonstration on the border with Israel. The goal was to get Palestinians killed in front of the international media, in order to elicit condemnation of Israel. It worked, and largely because of people like Bernie Sanders.
Hamas sent more than 20,000 civilians to the border intermixed with its terror cells, which attempted to infiltrate the border, place explosives on it, and attack IDF soldiers. Eighteen are now dead, a majority of them members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Bernie Sanders then went on Twitter and TV to go all-in on Hamas's deadly media game:
The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic. It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 31, 2018
Needless to say, not a single Palestinian would be dead today if Hamas hadn't staged this confrontation. And those killed by the IDF were not "demonstrators," if that word still has any meaning. And it would be interesting to know what "better future" Sanders believes Hamas seeks, insofar as the group's charter calls for the killing of all Jews worldwide. Maybe they'll make an exception for Jewish senators from Vermont who are useful idiots.
On Sunday, Jake Tapper asked Sanders to comment on Israel's claim that Hamas terrorists were operating from among the "demonstrators." Bernie stuck to his guns: "From what my understanding is, you have tens of thousands of people who are engaged in nonviolent protest." His defiance may delight progressives, but Bernie is making a fool of himself. There are video and pictures of Hamas instigating violence, and it has been thoroughly documented—including by Hamas itself—that 11 of the 18 dead were young male operatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells.
On a moral level, Bernie is helping create a political and media environment that incentivizes Hamas attacks on Israel, which result overwhelmingly in the deaths of Palestinians, not Israelis.
But on a political level, Bernie is damaging Democrats. President Obama's emotional and ideological need to pillory Israel accomplished nothing for his presidency, and it certainly did not help Democrats raise money or win elections. Sanders' anti-Israel activism may end up being worse for the Party, because it is more vicious and even less based in reality than Obama's, and because Bernie will set much of the agenda for Democrats in 2020.
His progressive supporters love that he's standing up to big, bad Israel. But progressive hatred of Israel is not fact-based—it is an emotional obsession that relies for its energy on presenting a false reality, as Sanders did over the weekend.
An overwhelming majority of Americans, and even most Democrats, do not share progressivism's increasingly virulent obsession with Israel. Democrats with national aspirations should be concerned that Obama's animosity is now crossing the line, via Sanders, to a position that is so embarrassingly detached from reality that it is impossible to spin. Time will tell whether Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and other 2020 hopefuls walk into the trap Bernie is setting for them, and endorse ridiculous lies about Israel that please a very narrow demographic of far-left activists. They need only look to the Corbynization of Labour to see the future that may await their Party.