All of the presidential candidates have had a heckler or two. Donald Trump has become infamous for his harsh treatment of protesters. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, just showed Republicans how to handle this type of situation with class when a Harlem man asked about the relationship he has with the “Jewish community.”
According to the New York observer, the event was a “community conversation” at the iconic Apollo Theater and was part of an outreach to African American voters. A panel discussion had been held featuring “singer Harry Belafonte, hip-hop personality Charlamagne Tha God, Erica Garner—the daughter of Eric Garner, who died at the hands of an NYPD officer in Staten Island in 2014—and former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.”
Sanders then spoke to the diverse crowd and was taking questions from the audience. The third question was asked by John Prince, who yelled out:
You went to Israel for a year. As you know, Zionist Jews—I don’t mean to offend anybody—they running the Federal Reserve, they running Wall Street, they’re running everything. What is your relationship with your Jewish community?”
The crowd responded to this loaded question with boos, but Sanders had an answer ready for him without missing a beat. When the crowd finally quieted, he responded:
No, no, no, no, no, that’s not what you’re asking. No that’s not what you’re asking. I’m proud to be Jewish.”
The crowd cheered and applauded his words. Sanders then talked to the audience about the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
I may be Jewish, but you’re not going to find any candidate running for president, for example, to talk about Zionism and the Middle East.
I am a strong defender of Israel, but we have got to pay attention to the needs of Palestinians. We’re going to have to treat both sides with respect and equality.”
The crowd erupted in cheers once again and began chanting “Bernie! Bernie!” Mr. Prince, however, was not satisfied. “They’re buying Harlem,” he shouted out.
At this point, if this had been an event for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, Mr. Prince would have been dragged out of the theater by security, and possibly sucker-punched along the way. But Sanders and his team had a better course of action.
Ms. Turner took to the mic and praised the fact that “we can have a conversation” regarding gentrification. Because Mr. Prince still had concerns, she exchanged contact information with him so that they could continue the conversation in the following days.
Watch Bernie show the GOP how it’s done here: