Fist, congratulations to Goldy Krantz for breaking my record for the number of letters to the editor in response to a column. She had six in last week’s paper.
The CDC and other governmental agencies have told us for months the importance of getting the vaccine and obtaining herd immunity. Once the country would reach that level, many of the restrictions could be relaxed. The thinking was that this would be an incentive for people to get the shot. There was a great demand for the vaccines when they were first approved. However, demand has fallen, and there are many more vaccines available than those who want it. The problem is that a significant percentage have not been vaccinated. Thus, the CDC switched its approach from the stick to the carrot. Now they say that those who have been vaccinated, with limited exceptions, can go without a mask. The logic is that this is an incentive for unvaccinated people to get a shot. I believe that this approach will fail and instead cause more people to get the virus resulting in a higher hospitalization and deaths than there would have been under the old rules. The fallacy is that the CDC thinks that this new approach will cause those who are not vaccinated to get vaccinated. Instead, these people will put themselves and others in danger by having one less level of protection.
The other main issue is the situation in Israel. By the time this column is published, the situation on the ground may change. However, I am writing concerning the situation as of May 15. It is our obligation to do whatever we can to support our brethren in Israel, whether it is by extra prayer, good deeds, or charity, and to get political support for Israel’s response.
One way to obtain support is to marginalize those who are anti-Israel. This is not the time for partisan politics. Unfortunately, there are those who are so against the Democratic Party that in their zeal to attack them, they are doing damage to US support of Israel. They are unwittingly helping Israel’s enemies.
One misconception is that the progressives who they claim run the Democratic Party are anti-Israel. This misconception is fed by building up those who are anti-Israel to be a significant part of the party. For example, in last week’s QJL, there were eight quotes from Democrat office holders or those running for office. None of them were senators. Four of the comments were negative. The implication is that 50% percent of the Democratic Party is anti-Israel which is false. In contrast, they quoted 12 Republicans, four of whom were senators, all of whom gave a positive response.
Likewise, the most prominent and first statement came from the prior president. What was lacking was a quote from President Biden or anyone else in the administration. The implication is that the Biden administration is not supporting Israel.
Thus, I have included the following quotes, which are examples that disprove the false narrative.
The White House readout of the call between President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the President “condemned the rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups” and “conveyed his unwavering support for Israel’s security and for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians.”
President Biden told reporters on Wednesday that “Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory.”
Nancy Pelosi released a statement on Tuesday reading, “I condemn the escalating and indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas against Israel. Israel has the right to defend herself against this assault, which is designed to sow terror and undermine prospects for peace.” She added that “Every civilian death is a tragedy that we mourn. Hamas’s accelerating violence only risks killing more civilians, including innocent Palestinians. Let us all pray that the situation will be resolved immediately and peacefully.”
My Congressmember Grace Meng also voiced support. “My heart is with both Israeli and Palestinian families who have spent the night sheltering from bombs and incendiary balloons launched by Hamas. Israel has every right to defend itself from Hamas’s terrorist attacks and from rocket fire that threatens the lives of Israelis.”
New York Democrat Congressman Ritchie Torres from the Bronx, who is a progressive, wrote that “Firing rockets at civilians in Israel is an act of terrorism, period.” Congressman Torres also appeared on a UJA and JCRC call in which he defended Israel’s right to defend itself. On Thursday, I was at a rally coordinated by the Queens Jewish Community Council. David Steinberg, the Queens representative for NORPAC, mentioned that vast majority of elected officials, including progressives, are supporting Israel.
This is not the first time that fighting has happened when there is a dispute on the Temple Mount area. The first intifada happened after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount. Now there have been riots on the mount and there is a property dispute in Sheikh Jarrah. Hamas used this as an excuse to fire rockets at Israel to proclaim that they are the defenders of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Arab presence in Jerusalem. It has nothing to do with the false belief in the minds of the Trumpians that Biden is not a supporter of Israel.
At this time, Israel needs all the support it can get. This is the time for the Trumpians to set aside their hatred for the President and the rest of the Democratic Party and work together to gather bipartisan support for Israel while exposing the weak support of its enemies in Congress.