Although he is Jewish, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has said little, if anything, during the current campaign on matters that affect Jews, or about Israel – but a 1990 interview he gave to Israeli newspaper Haaretz may shed some light on what Israelis could expect from him if he becomes president. In the interview, Sanders said that he was “ashamed” of Israel’s involvement in arms sales to dictators in South and Central America.
“As a Jew, I feel ashamed at Israel’s involvement in this matter,” Sanders said in the interview. “It’s embarrassing that it would specifically be Israel that sells arms to the worst rulers. Why do you have to be the ‘hired guns’ of the American administration?”
In the interview, Sanders also provided an answer to a question that journalists have been seeking an answer to throughout the campaign – and that Sanders has refused to discuss: Which kibbutz did he volunteer at as a teenager?
In the interview, he told his interviewer that he had come to Israel as a guest of the far-left organization Hashomer Hatza’ir in 1963, and had worked at Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim near Kiryat Tiv’on in northern Israel. On Friday, Haaretz polled some old-timers at the kibbutz to find out what they knew about him, but no one recalled him directly – with one person telling the paper that they remembered a young fellow named Bernard who was “not French, which made him memorable,” since all the other Bernards who had volunteered at the kibbutz were French.