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NEW YORK — The Bernie Sanders campaign suspended its national Jewish outreach coordinator, Simone Zimmerman on Thursday following revelations of a vulgar attack she wrote against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on social media, the New York Times has reported.
The Sanders campaign announced Zimmerman's appointment just two days ago.
“She has been suspended while we investigate the matter,” Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Senator Bernie Sanders, wrote in an email, the Times reported.
Zimmerman, a former J Street student activist, was recently hired by the Sanders campaign. She wrote last year on Facebook, “Bibi Netanyahu is an arrogant, deceptive, cynical, manipulative asshole,” according to the Washington-based Free Beacon.
She continued: “F— you, Bibi, for daring to insist that you legitimately represent even a fraction of the Jews in this world, for your consistent fear-mongering, for pushing Israel in word and deed, farther and farther away from the international community, and most importantly, for trying to derail a potentially historic diplomatic deal with Iran and thus trying to distract the world from the fact that you sanctioned the murder of over 2,000 people this summer.”
She edited the post on March 3, 2015, changing “asshole” to “politician” and the second expletive to “shame on you.”
Earlier on Thursday former ADL chief Abe Foxman urged the Sanders campaign to fire Zimmerman.
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“I am not a ‘right wing extremist’ in the words of ‘Jewish Friends of Bernie,’ and I believe Bernie Sanders needs to fire Simone Zimmerman,” Foxman said in an email to Jewish Insider. “No amount of word changes can cure her ugly characterization of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Israeli army and people defending themselves.”
Jews for Bernie, a group that supports the Jewish senator from Vermont’s Democratic presidential campaign, took to Twitter Thursday to contest “smears emanating from the far right” that Zimmerman supports BDS. The tweet also erroneously asserted that JTA, which first reported on Zimmerman’s appointment, had “given airtime” to the BDS allegations.
In an op-ed for JTA in 2013, Zimmerman wrote that she had “campaigned actively against divestment efforts” on her campus, the University of California, Berkeley. In the same op-ed, however, she defended the right of pro-BDS students to be heard at campus Hillels.
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