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Sanders reaches out to Israelis on Facebook, gets earful

Democratic candidate’s ‘Not me, us’ campaign receives warm global response, but many in the Jewish state aren’t buying it

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) gives a concession speech in Henderson, Nevada, on February 20, 2016. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) gives a concession speech in Henderson, Nevada, on February 20, 2016. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

JTA — The campaign of US Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders issued a message of multicultural unity last week, posting graphics on social media that read, “Not me, us,” in 14 different languages.

Facebook users generally responded positively to the posts, which in each language feature a silhouette of Sanders — fist raised — comprising smaller silhouettes of various shapes and colors. Some Israelis, though, were less impressed.

One French commenter wrote, “I love Senator Sanders’ campaign.” A Dutch person responded, “America needs a president like Sanders.” An Italian said, “I hope I will wake up tomorrow on Lake Como to a Bernie victory.” It was more of the same in Spanish, German, Arabic, etc.

Meanwhile many of the comments on the Hebrew version of the post — which says “Lo ani, anachnu” (Hebrew for Not me, us) — are sarcastic, skeptical and mocking of the graphic and of the Independent senator from Vermont’s socialist platform.

Here are a few choice examples:

“These things are the connecting thread between socialism and nationalism/fascism — seeing a person only as part of a collective.”

ארצות הברית גדלה כמדינה כשאנחנו מתאחדים ואומרים לא לגזענות, לשנאה, ולקנאות.

Posted by Bernie Sanders on Friday, February 19, 2016

“You guys do realize that when he crashes the economy, people are gonna blame Jews? One of the reasons why we’ve done so good here is because when something goes wrong people blame the president, not the Jews. Well, what happens when the president is a Jew?”

“But socialism increases racism and hate as it places every sector’s hand in the other’s pocket, and everyone’s hand into his friend’s pocket, which creates animosity between different groups in society.”

There were, however, some messages of support, as well as more than 1,500 Likes and over 500 Shares.

“Bernie you are the best, the israeli [sic] left wing supports you. Greetings from an israeli [sic] socialist!!!” one person wrote, while another said: “This speaks so greatly to your brothers and sisters of Am Yisrael!”

The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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