NPR Host Offends Bernie Sanders with Accusation He Has Dual U.S.-Israeli Citizenship
Apparently this was not the first time Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been confronted with rumors that he holds dual citizenship in the United States and Israel. During an interview on NPR Wednesday, host Diane Rehm told the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, “You have dual citizenship with Israel,” to which he quickly replied, “No I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I’m an American.”
“I don’t know where that question came from,” Sanders continued. “I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.”
When Rehm said his named appeared on some sort of list she received, Sanders replied, “That’s some of the nonsense that goes on in the internet. But that is absolutely not true.” Later, he added, “I get offended a little bit by that comment, and I know it’s been on the internet. I am obviously an American citizen and I do not have any dual citizenship.”
As the Jewish Journal reported, Sanders’ name does appear on various online lists of U.S. members of Congress with dual Israeli citizenship, but the sources are non-existent and appear to have originated from “anti-Semite and anti-Zionist” activists.
Sanders is Jewish and reportedly spent several months living and working on a kibbutz there after he graduated from college. Last summer, the senator faced off with constituents at a Vermont town hall who objected to his defense of Israel’s aggressive attacks on Hamas in Gaza.
UPDATE – 4:40 p.m. ET: Rehm sent a follow-up statement to Talking Points Memo about her error:
On today’s show I made a mistake. Rather than asking Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders whether he had dual U.S./Israeli citizenship, as I had read in a comment on Facebook, I stated it as fact.
He corrected me, saying he did not know where the question came from. I apologized immediately.
I want to apologize as well to all our listeners for having made an erroneous statement. I am sorry for the mistake. However, I am glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest.
Listen to audio below, via NPR:
[Photo via screengrab]
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