Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign on Thursday night suspended Simone Zimmerman, the campaign’s new national Jewish outreach coordinator over comments she made about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Facebook, the New York Times reported.
“She has been suspended while we investigate the matter,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs wrote in an email to the Times.
Zimmerman was hired by the Sanders campaign on Tuesday, and the news was followed by a Wednesday Washington Free Beacon report with a screenshot of a Facebook post by Zimmerman.
“Fuck you, Bibi,” Zimmerman wrote in the post, calling Netanyahu “an arrogant, deceptive, cynical, manipulative asshole.”
Leaders in the Jewish community, including Abe Foxman, the former national director of the Anti-Defamation League, and Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, called for Zimmerman to be fired, according to the New York Times.
Others jumped to Zimmerman’s defense, starting the #IStandWithSimone hashtag on Twitter. Yonah Lieberman, who helped Zimmerman co-found If Not Now, a group pushing to end the occupation of Palestinian territories, defended Zimmerman to the Huffington Post.
“The smear campaign being waged against Simone Zimmerman is a reflection of how out-of-touch the American Jewish establishment is with the Jewish community,” Lieberman said. “The Jewish establishment won’t stand for anyone criticizing Israel — no matter the truth or reason. When young Jews call for freedom and dignity for the Palestinians, the establishment can only respond with intimidation and fear.”