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ADL Director: Surprising Sanders' Faith Hasn't Been an Issue


By Bill Hoffmann   |   Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 03:32 PM

The national director of the Anti-Defamation League says he is encouraged that the success of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential race has not been marred by anti-Jewish rhetoric.

"It's certainly a remarkable thing that he won [the New Hampshire primary] and he surprised a lot of people. But what surprised us is that he won without any mention really of his faith," Jonathan Greenblatt said Thursday on "Newsmax Prime" with J.D. Hayworth.

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"Certainly he was the first Jewish candidate to win New Hampshire, but what's more interesting is that his faith has not been an issue throughout the primary season.

"Faith comes in many different dimensions. For some people it's a practice, for some people it's a religion, for some people it's a set of values."

Greenblatt, whose group works to stop the defamation and persecution of Jews, said that in recent years, religion seems to be less of an issue in politics.

"We've seen a Mormon get the GOP nomination. We've seen a Jew win the state of New Hampshire. It shows us how far America has come in really being a pluralistic society," he told Hayworth.

Still, American Jews still follow certain voting patterns, according to Greenblatt.

"In national elections, presidential elections, Jews overwhelming vote for the Democratic candidate. Since Ronald Reagan that's clearly been the mode," he said.

"At the same time … support for the state of Israel isn't really a Jewish thing, I think, or a gentile thing or a Democratic thing or a Republican thing. It's been a bipartisan commitment.

"There's been a lot of tension in the last 12 to 18 months around the Iran deal and the US-Israel relationship, so we'll see what happens this fall, but where I see it is that Israel's bipartisan commitment will always be there."

Once considered a long shot against Democratic front-runner, the Vermont Independent's campaign has steadily seen a rise in the polls, culminating in this week's win in The Granite State.

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The national director of the Anti-Defamation League says he is encouraged that the success of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential race has not been marred by anti-Jewish rhetoric.
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