2016 Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders says concerns about his honeymoon trip to the USSR in the ’80s are “silly.” He’ll have a harder time explaining his months-long stay at a hardcore Stalinist camp in the ’60s.
It’s clear the self-avowed socialist is even further left than he has admitted. Fifty years ago, during the height of the Cold War, he sought out communist indoctrination.
The Israeli press earlier this month broke the story that Sanders, who is Jewish, spent several months at an Israeli commune co-founded by a Soviet spy. The revelation is just now wending its way through the American media, where it’s been confirmed by none other than the New York Times, though the pro-Democrat paper predictably buried the story on its back pages.
As a college student in 1963, Sanders was a guest of the Hashomer Hatzair, a Marxist youth movement founded by communist Ya’akov Hazan, who called the Soviet Union a second homeland and eulogized Stalin as “the great leader and extolled commander. We lower our flag in grief in memory of the great revolutionary fighter (and) architect of socialist construction.”
Ignoring Stalin’s atrocities, Hazan oozed: “His huge historical achievements will guide generations in their march toward the reign of socialism and communism the world over.”
The Marxist movement Sanders joined pledged its allegiance to the Soviet Union and was described as “Stalinist” as late as 1969 — well after Sanders’ visit.
Sanders has acknowledged staying at a “kibbutz;” but there are many of them in Israel, and he and his campaign have refused to ID which one he attended. The Tel Aviv paper Haaretz dug up the records, revealing the exact camp — Sha’ar Ha’amakim — and noted that it was founded in 1935 during Stalin’s reign.
The Times reported that Sanders’ camp viewed the USSR as a model society worthy of adoption, and often flew the Red flag at its events — the same flag, notably, that Sanders would later hang in his office as mayor of Burlington, Vt., according to the New York Post.
The Times says Sanders and his comrades would farm in the morning and then partake in “cultural events” in the afternoon. Did he sing the communist workers’ anthem? Pay homage to Lenin and Stalin?
Voters ought to know. Only, the media aren’t interested in finding out. So far no debate moderator has asked Sanders about his commie camp days. Strikingly, even Fox News let Sanders off the hook in a rare interview last Sunday.
Sanders has a long resume of radicalism. Here’s the rest of Sanders’ subversive past the media are keeping under wraps:
1963-64: He joined the Young People’s Socialist League, the youth wing of the Socialist Party USA. Sanders also organized for a communist front, the United Packinghouse Workers Union, which at the time was infiltrated by hardened Communist agents and under investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
1971-76: Sanders helped found the socialist Liberty Union Party in Vermont, where he ran for governor and senator while calling for the government takeover of the medical industry and “all privately owned electric utilities,” as well as the “nationalization of the oil industry” — “without compensation to the banks and wealthy individuals who own them.”
Sounding like Lenin, he also demanded the government actually seize corporate assets and the wealth of billionaires, namely the Rockefellers, and redistribute it “for all people.”
1977: As founder of the socialist American People’s Historical Society, Sanders produced a 30-minute color documentary exalting his hero, socialist revolutionary Eugene Debs, who was jailed under the Espionage Act. (Today he keeps a portrait of Debs on his Senate office wall.)
1979: Sanders penned a piece for a local leftist rag arguing for the public takeover of the television industry, banishing commercial advertising and putting content under control of the government, a la Pravda.
1981: As Burlington’s new mayor, Sanders announced he didn’t believe in private charities and favored disbanding them, explaining government should be responsible for all social welfare and charity.
1981: Sanders adopted a Soviet sister city outside Moscow, as well as a city in Nicaragua to support the communist Sandinista revolution there.
1985: Sanders invited officials from the Soviet Union and communist China to stop by his office, while proposing that Washington divert military defense funds to “pay for thousands of U.S. children to go to the Soviet Union.”
July 1985: After passing a resolution pledging Burlington would defy President Reagan’s embargo on communist-controlled Nicaragua, Sanders traveled to Managua to attend, along with Soviet officials, an anti-U.S. rally sponsored by the Sandinistas.
He reportedly stood with a crowd that chanted, “Here, there, everywhere, the Yankee will die.” His trip was said to have been paid for by the Sandinista government. Sanders, in turn, invited Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega to visit the U.S.
1985: In a letter to the Sandinistas, according to the New York Post, Sanders pledged his support for their “struggle,” calling it a “heroic revolution” while accusing the Reagan administration of engaging in “terrorist activities.”
1985: In an interview with Vermont government-access TV, Sanders claimed: “The Sandinista government has more support among the Nicaraguan people — substantially more support — than Ronald Reagan has among the American people,” even though Reagan had just been reelected in a historic landslide.
1985: In the same interview, he praised Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, claiming “he educated their kids, gave their kids health care, totally transformed society.” He later showed his affection by traveling to Havana and meeting with its mayor.
1985: In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Sanders proclaimed: “The whole quality of life in America is based on greed. I believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation.”
1988: One day after wedding his second and current wife, Jane Sanders, the two traveled to the USSR for their honeymoon. Upon returning, Sanders praised communist health care and housing, noting “the cost of both services is much, much higher in the United States.”
1989: With the West on the verge of winning the Cold War, Sanders addressed the national conference of the U.S. Peace Council — another known front for the Communist Party USA, whose members swore an oath to “the triumph of Soviet power in the U.S.”
This is what Sanders really means by “political revolution,” a battle cry he mouthed no fewer than four times during a recent national debate.
Sanders isn’t just a “socialist.” Or even a communist sympathizer. He is a hard-core communist collaborator who is far, far outside the American political mainstream. So far outside, in fact, there undoubtedly is a file with his name on it at the FBI documenting his subversive activities.
Let’s hope it is leaked to the public before Sanders gets any closer to the White House.