Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday nabbed his first presidential endorsement from a Jewish organization.
IfNotNow, a progressive Jewish group that opposes the Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza, said in a statement that it was “called to get off the sidelines” to support Sanders, who is Jewish. He’s the first politician to receive an endorsement from the group.
“As a movement of young Jews fighting for freedom and dignity for all, we are proud to be the first Jewish organization to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President,” IfNotNow co-founder Dani Moscovitch said in the statement.
“Like us, Bernie rejects the false choice between being a proud Jew and supporting Palestinian freedom,” Moscovitch continued. “He has embraced the common sense position that the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian people should end — and that our tax dollars should stop funding it.”
Moscovitch also praised Sanders for fighting for Medicare for All and a Green New Deal.
The endorsement followed a tough few weeks on the campaign trail for Sanders, who was significantly trailing Joe Biden in delegates after a disappointing showing in Tuesday’s primary contests.
Sanders led the pack of Democratic candidates after winning the New Hampshire primary and Nevada caucuses. But Biden’s landslide victory in South Carolina, followed by a wave of high-profile endorsements, including many former 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, revived the former vice president’s campaign.
Biden won 10 of the 14 states up for grabs on Super Tuesday, and dealt a massive blow to Sanders’ campaign with this week’s wins, including a victory in Michigan by more than 15 percentage points.
A Pew survey conducted in January showed Jewish Democrats were more likely to pick Biden as their first choice (31%) for the party’s nomination over Sanders (11%).