The Sanders campaign’s announcement on Tuesday that Simone Zimmerman would be its national Jewish outreach coordinator delighted her fellow left-wing Jewish political activists and encouraged their belief that public expressions of disgust with the Israeli government had edged into the acceptable mainstream of Democratic politics.
They might have been getting ahead of themselves.
On Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign suspended Ms. Zimmerman, 25, after revelations that she had used vulgarities in Facebook posts about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Hillary Clinton. The suspension, hours before a Democratic presidential debate in Brooklyn, made for an embarrassing misstep for Mr. Sanders, a secular Jew who, despite having lived briefly in Israel and being the most successful candidate of his faith in American history, is being pummeled by Mrs. Clinton among Jewish voters.
But the suspension was also an important moment in the small but deeply felt universe of Democratic Jewish politics, which has been torn apart on generational and ideological lines over the acceptable level of criticism of Israel’s right-wing government.