I Went to High School with Bernie Sanders’ Israel-Shaming ‘Jewish Outreach Director’

Okay, so let’s start by determining if Simone Zimmerman is indeed an Israel critic. She is a longtime leader behind a group called Jewish Voice for Peace, which has held regular protests outside the offices of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The group essentially hold vigils for Palestinians killed in conflict with Israel. The Anti-Defamation League has named this organization as one of the top 10 anti-Israel hate groups in the country. She has also advocated for the boycott of Israeli products, saying that to be anti-Zionist is not anti-Semitic, even calling on the nation’s Hillel chapters (the primary Jewish youth group on college campuses) to accept groups that support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign against Israel. She wrote her own article in Ha’aretz (a left-leaning Israeli news outlet) suggesting that American Jews “do civil resistance work in solidarity with West Bank Palestinians.” So, yeah, I’d say she’s critical of Israel.

I reached out to her for comment, and she pointed me towards the Bernie Sanders press office. So I asked the campaign for comment on the senator’s own Israel beliefs, and whether he supports her more radical viewpoints, and as of yet I have not received any response. I personally think it’s a shame that the first major Jewish candidate for president is seemingly murky on whether he supports the Jewish State, and that, for instance, he was the only presidential candidate who chose not to speak at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Conference this year.

So how did a Jewish girl from Los Angeles become a radical? Let’s start from the top— I went to high school with her at a place that was then called New Community Jewish High School (now deToledo Jewish High School). I was in the second graduating class there (it was actually a new school, hence the name), and I believe she was one class younger than me. Her mother was actually one of the founding board members at the private school and later became the president of the board.