The Headlines

ELECTION 2020

Democrat Max Rose endorses Bloomberg 

(JTA) – Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., a moderate Democrat from Staten Island, endorsed Michael Bloomberg for president. Rose, a Jewish army veteran, is one of at least nine Democrats with national security backgrounds who flipped seats from Republican to Democratic in the 2018 presidential election, and whose districts voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.

“@MikeBloomberg’s even-keeled and visionary leadership is what we need in Washington,” Rose said Monday, Jan. 13 on Twitter. “He’s taken on tough fights and gotten results, which is why I believe Mayor Bloomberg is the best candidate for my district, my city, and for our country.” Bloomberg was elected three times to be New York mayor.

Bloomberg, who is self-funding his race, occupies the center-right flank of the still crowded Democratic field, but he says he will use his campaign resources to back whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee.

Biden mocks Trump’s claim to speak against antisemitism

(JTA) – Joe Biden mocked President Donald Trump’s claims to speak out against antisemitism, saying the president is dividing the country and turning a blind eye to white supremacists. “President’s talking about how he’s worried about antisemitism,” Biden told The New York Time’s editorial board in an interview the newspaper posted Friday, Jan. 17. “This recent rule about universities.” Biden referred to an executive order Trump issued last month linking federal funding for universities to how seriously the campus addressed antisemitism. “This is the same guy who watched antisemites, their veins bulging, coming out of fields, literally carrying torches,” Biden said, referring to the deadly neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. “It was almost like a movie,” Biden said. “Preaching antisemitic bile. The same exact thing that was preached and hollered in the streets of Nuremberg in the ‘30s and throughout Germany, carrying swastikas. Kid gets killed, a young woman. President’s asked to comment, and he said there were very fine people on both sides.”

Trump’s defenders have said that his reference to “very fine people” at the time was to Civil War history buffs who oppose removal of the statues of Confederate heroes, the action the neo-Nazis were ostensibly protesting, and also note that Trump condemned neo-Nazis. However, the protesters in Charlottesville on that day were overwhelmingly white supremacists and neo-Nazis, the march was organized by white supremacists, and most of the violence was planned and perpetrated by the marchers

Bernie Sanders is proud to be Jewish but…

(JTA) – In an interview with The New York Times ahead of the paper’s endorsement of a Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders said he is “proud to be Jewish” but is “not actively involved in organized religion.”

“I am Jewish,” Sanders told the Times’ editorial board when asked whether he believes in God. “I am proud to be Jewish. I was bar mitzvahed from the Kings Highway Jewish Center, a long time ago. I am not actively involved in organized religion.” The Times notes in a comment in the interview that “if elected, he would be the first Jewish president, and also one of few who have openly discussed a disconnect from organized religion.”

The Vermont senator goes on to say that he believes in God and in freedom of religion, contrasting himself with President Donald Trump, whom Sanders says practices discrimination by restricting immigration from a number of Muslim majority countries.

The Times is publishing its editorial board’s interviews with Democratic candidates ahead of its endorsement, which was set to be appear as the Ledger went to press.

Sanders, 78, was for a long time reluctant to talk about his Jewish heritage during his 2016 presidential campaign. Some of his campaigners have made his Jewishness central to his 2020 campaign.

The Times links to an essay he wrote in the left-wing Jewish Currents magazine, in which Sanders opens up about his Jewish identity.

Asked if anyone advises him on spiritual matters, Sanders referred to his wife, Jane.

“My wife was raised as a Catholic, holds some pretty strong feelings,” he said.

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