Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has suspended his national Jewish outreach coordinator, Simone Zimmerman, after revelations that she had posted vulgarities about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Facebook, The New York Times reported Thursday.
“She has been suspended while we investigate the matter,” Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Senator Bernie Sanders, wrote in an email to the newspaper.
Zimmerman’s suspension comes after a report on Wednesday in The Washington Free Beacon, which found a Facebook post in which she used a vulgarity and described Netanyahu as “arrogant, deceptive, cynical” and “manipulative.”
She then used more aggressive language and continued that he had “sanctioned the murder of over 2,000 people this summer.”
Zimmerman is a supporter of the extremist Jewish Voice for peace – which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) named as one of America's top 10 anti-Israel hate groups – and an advocate for the anti-Israel BDS boycott movement.
Members of the American Jewish establishment had been attacking Zimmerman and the Sanders campaign since her appointment for her record of criticizing Israel and its policies in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Abe Foxman, the former national director of ADL, also called for her firing, according to The New York Times.
Zimmerman declined to comment on the suspension.
Earlier on Thursday, Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, issued a statement calling on Sanders to fire Zimmerman.
“We are known by the company we keep, and those whose advice we seek,” the statement said. “Bernie Sanders’ hiring of Simone Zimmerman as his chief adviser on Jewish issues is cause for profound concern.”
“I call on Senator Sanders to clarify his own positions and whether this hire reflects his views on Israel. Does he support the positions Ms. Zimmerman espouses? If not, he should make that clear by terminating her immediately as one of his closest advisers. If Senator Sanders maintains her as his adviser, it will confirm that his views on Israel match hers,” added Lauder, according to statement quoted by The New York Times.