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Nazi Flag at Bernie Sanders Rally Gets Person Kicked Out
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Summary: White Supremacist Unfurls Nazi Flag at Arizona Sanders Rally

Sanders campaigning for President in San Jose, California, March 2020
Photo by Σ -Wikimedia Commons

A man shouting “Heil Hitler” and waving a Nazi flag was kicked out of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ rally in Arizona on Thursday.

A few moments into Sander’s speech at the 7,000-person Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a man unfurled a five-foot-tall Nazi flag and shouted anti-Semitic insults to the candidate running to be the first Jewish president.

  
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The incident was immediately condemned on social media and sparked outcry and prompted calls for security.

“We can argue about which candidate should get the Dem nomination, but antisemitic acts have no place in this world. This is abhorrent,” Steven Slugocki, the chairman of the Maricopa County Democratic Party in Arizona, wrote on Twitter.

The individual was immediately booed by the crowd, the banner was quickly ripped out of his hands by security and he was kicked out of the building.

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According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the man who caused the shocking incident is Robert Sterkeson, a white supremacist who has “harassed a range of Jewish and Muslim organizations and events.”

Sanders communications director Mike Casca told CNN that Sanders did not see the flag, but ’he was told about it afterward and was disturbed.’



In response to the boos, Sanders told the crowd of his supporters that “whoever it was” that caused the disruption was “a little outnumbered tonight.”

“And more importantly, they’re going to be outnumbered in November,” he added.

The presidential candidate addressed the flag incident telling reporters, “I will simply say this, and I speak not only as a Jewish American, I think I can speak for the families of some 400,000 American troops who died fighting Nazism, fighting fascism. That is, it is horrific. It is beyond disgusting to see that in the United States of America. There are people who would show the emblem of Hitler and Nazism.”

If elected, the Vermont Senator would be the first Jewish president of the United States. Sanders has spoken openly about his background as the son of a working-class Jewish family in Brooklyn, his extended family from Poland was killed in the Holocaust during World War II. 

“Nazi flags are symbols of pure hate and have no place anywhere in America, much less in a rally for a Jewish presidential candidate. We are grateful that those responsible were removed immediately,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted Friday.

Joe Biden addressed the incident on Twitter, showing disgust to the anti-Semitic stunt

“I don’t care who you’re supporting, attacks like this against a man who could be the first Jewish President are disgusting and beyond the pale,” Biden tweeted. “Hatred and bigotry have no place in America — and it’s up to all of us to root out these evils wherever they’re found.”

Harassment, vandalism, and assault against people of Jewish descent remain at concerning levels according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL’s most recent audit in 2018 found a total of 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents against people and institutions across the country, including the deadly mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“I’ve got to tell you, I never expected in my life as an American to see a swastika at a major political rally. It’s horrible,” Bernie Sanders said about the incident.



 

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