Group slams NPR host for ‘anti-Semitic canard’ about Bernie Sanders

Jewish Democrats slammed an NPR interviewer Wednesday for asking whether Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had dual citizenship with Israel on-air.
The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) criticized broadcaster Diane Rehm for her “indefensible” questioning in a statement.
“It is appalling that in today’s age, a longtime Jewish elected official would face implications that he splits his loyalty between the United States and Israel for no other reason that his religion,” said Greg Rosenbaum, chair of the NJDC’s board of directors.
{mosads}“This anti-Semitic canard of dual loyalty has persisted for decades, particularly about American Jews in public service,” he said.
“To directly ask, as Diane Rehm did, if there are members of Congress who hold dual citizenship with Israel is unbelievably offensive and completely indefensible,” Rosenbaum added of Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.
“There are no legitimate sources that claim that Sen. Sanders holds Israeli citizenship, and if Diane Rehm was citing one of the many dark, anti-Semitic corners of the Internet as her source, we have grave doubts as to her journalistic credentials.”
The NJDC also took issue with Rehm’s apology for her exchange with Sanders earlier Wednesday.
“Ms. Rehm’s subsequent statement that she is glad to have been able to put this ‘rumor’ to rest is no apology at all,” Rosenbaum said.
“This ‘rumor’ is one that she has helped perpetuate and advance,” he added. “There is no room in our public discourse for such baseless accusations.”
Rehm apologized earlier Wednesday for presenting a “comment on Facebook” about Sanders as legitimate fact.
“I am sorry for the mistake,” she said in a statement. “However, I am glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest.”
Sanders repeatedly denied he possessed dual citizenship with Israel during his initial exchange with Rehm Wednesday morning.
“Well, no, I do not have dual citizenship with Israel,” he told Rehm during their interview. “No, I’m an American citizen, period.”
“That’s some of the nonsense that goes on in the Internet,” he added. “But that is absolutely not true.”
– Updated at 6:33 p.m.
Tags Bernie Sanders

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