Leaked emails of senior Democrats discussing Bernie Sanders’ Jewish identity, his atheism and their effect on voters have forced the resignation of a top Jewish politician in the United States.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, stepped down after the emails – published on WikiLeaks – revealed that the party’s hierarchy was manoeuvring against Sanders in favour of its preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Among the most damning emails was from DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall, which read: “I think I read he is an atheist… This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
Sanders, 74, last week hit out at Wasserman-Schultz, an influential Jewish congresswoman from Florida, and called on her to resign, saying party rules dictate neutrality until the presidential nominee is decided.
This week she bowed to pressure, saying that she would step down following the party’s upcoming convention after discussing her options with President Obama.
This week Wasserman-Schultz said she would step down following the party’s upcoming convention, and on Monday called for party unity, during a speech in which she was booed and heckled by Sanders’ supporters.
Clinton scooped 2,804 delegates to the 1,893 delegates Sanders won, but the left-wing Vermont senator’s campaign has galvanised huge numbers of supporters in recent months.