Colors: Cyan Color

Kol Yisrael areivin zeh lazeh – all Jews are responsible one for another. It is incumbent on all of us to protect the safety of Israel and to ensure the viability of our shuls, yeshivos, and chesed institutions here in Queens. Whether we like it or not, the reality is that many of the critical decisions that impact on our community are made by politicians.

In an era where President Trump is constantly accused of his rhetoric endangering the lives of millions of people without any evidence, the left is mysteriously silent about what is happening in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly spewed anti-police rhetoric, and a new generation of video-taking teenagers are trying to make a name for themselves by essentially daring the police to arrest or shoot them by pouring water on patrolling officers. This pattern of disrespect leads all the way back to the top.

The State of California is currently reviewing a model Ethnic Studies curriculum, which openly promotes hateful boycotts against Israel and omits antisemitism as a form of bigotry. Disturbingly, this agenda was inserted into an educational effort meant to teach students about marginalized communities. Moreover, despite its stated purpose, the proposed curriculum includes no lessons about Jews as a sizeable ethnic minority and frequent target of racism.

In the first legislative move by a member of “The Squad” since the Democratic Civil War spilled out into the streets of Washington, DC, a pro-BDS resolution was sponsored by Ilhan Omar. Omar, who has a long history of anti-Semitic statements and a deference to radical Islamist terrorists, disguises her obvious hatred of the Jewish people and the Jewish state as a First Amendment issue. She is not alone in the Democratic Caucus on this issue. There is increasing support for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments in both Houses; this is only the latest symptom of a larger disease.

 As is Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, I am grateful to President Trump and his administration regarding some matters of longstanding concern to the Jewish people. I am thrilled by Nikki Haley’s record at the United Nations and delighted that the United States Embassy to Israel is finally located in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. I joined AIPAC to lobby Congress to defeat JCPOA (“the Iran deal”), negotiated by President Obama and reflecting his administration’s deeply misguided perspectives on the foreign-policy interests of the United States.

In his column last week, our Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, the Rabbinic Consultant for this newspaper, raised the subject of the Promised Land as it relates to the concept of American exceptionalism. Since the arrival of the earliest English colonists, this New World home has been described as a “city on a hill,” an “empire of liberty,” and the “land of the free,” among other oft-repeated accolades. Rabbi Schonfeld describes the United States as a “beacon of freedom and hope to the entire world.”