Former US governor slams Israel, Trump plan, 'what it means to be a Jew'

A search of Howard Dean’s other tweets reveals a growing obsession with American Jews. He does not tweet similar things about other minority groups.

Former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016 (photo credit: REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSON)
Former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016
(photo credit: REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSON)
Former governor of Vermont and one time Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean sought to lecture Jews on what it means to be Jewish on Tuesday. Remarking on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s role in US President Donald Trump’s peace plan he tweeted, “in other words, Israel embraces ethnic cleansing. This is a complete betrayal of Tikkun Olam [fixing the world] and a betrayal of what it means to be a Jew.” Dean sought the Democratic nomination in 2004.
It’s not the first time Dean has sought to tell Jews what it means for them to be Jewish. In July 2019 he slammed Israel for “losing its soul and purpose,” claiming that “the nobility of the Jewish people conferred by their terrible suffering is being squandered by cheap, bigoted, political crooks.”
Dean does not tweet similar things about other minority groups, for instance attacking Armenians for what Armenia does or the Irish for Ireland’s policies or Chinese-Americans for China’s actions. He doesn’t appear to lecture other religious groups on the meaning of their religion either, such as telling Buddhists or Muslims what “it means” to be a member of their faith or born into the group.
 
A search of Dean’s other tweets reveals a growing obsession with American Jews. In October 2019, he wrote with interest in Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, “I know he would create an opportunity to improve Israel’s standing among young American Jews.”
He tweets articles about Israel, with comments such as, “this is why Israel has lost the moral high ground among so many young American Jews,” as he did in March 2019. In October 2018 he wrote: “This is why young American Jews are losing interest in Israel.” In November 2018 he wrote that it would be “better for Israeli relations with Democrats and American Jews for Israeli voters to fire Netanyahu. We would never trust him and you shouldn’t either.”  
Dean doesn’t seem to make similar comments about other US allies, such as Turkey, regarding who they should vote for or whether Turkish Americans should or should not have an interest in Turkey based on who voters there choose.

Dean has tweeted that he is not Jewish but has “marital ties to Reform.” He once tweeted about Christianity, referring to Jesus as “the Founder” and asserting “he was also a Jew.”
He has been outspoken arguing that Israel is “setting up an apartheid state.” He also seems obsessed with who American Jews vote for. He tweeted after the Trump peace plan was announced: “This is not going to get Trump a single extra vote in or out of the American Jewish community.”
Dean’s comments about Jews are in contrast to comments about other groups. A search of his Twitter account found only three references to Armenians, for instance. Dean is critical of other countries, such as Russia, China and Turkey. And he is critical of other foreign leaders, such as Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He wrote in 2017 that, “Erdogan is taking Turkey out of the West.” But his views on these leaders don’t seem to cross over into views on members of their minority groups in the US – or end up with a lecture on the true meaning of Islam or what it means to be a Buddhist.
On Buddhism, he seems to have only tweeted a BBC article that was titled “the darker side of Buddhism.” He doesn’t lecture American Buddhists based on the policies of Myanmar. Only American Jews get the Dean analysis when it comes to Israel’s policies, and only Jews seem to be told what it “means” to be Jewish.
There seems to be no recognition by Dean of Jewish diversity or that not all Jews look at “Tikkun Olam” the way he might have heard of the concept, nor that former Vermont governors should be telling Jews how to practice their faith and what their role should be. No other group in the world gets told by Dean that their “nobility” will be tarnished because of the actions of a country where they are a majority.