I want to give an update on three prior columns of mine concerning Fatima Mousa Mohammed, the CUNY Law School 2023 graduation speaker who made anti-Semitic comments (see QJL 6/15, 6/29 and 7/13). The speech is available on YouTube. She also doubled down after being confronted about the speech. I mentioned that if you believe that she should not be admitted to practice as an attorney, you should write to the First and Second Department admission committees. Contact information for the First Department is Veronica Guerrero, Counsel to the Committee on Character and Fitness, Appellate Division, First Department 41 Madison Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, New York 10010; for the Second Department it is Muriel L. Gennosa, Executive Director for Attorney Matters, Committee on Character & Fitness, 335 Adams Street Suite 2404, Brooklyn, NY 11201. I just checked and saw that she has passed the bar examination. Therefore, if you want to do something, now is the time.
Now back to my regularly scheduled article. I went to two different rallies in support of Israel within two days of each other. I first went to Eisenhower Park in East Meadow and then the big rally in Washington, DC. Although the rally on Long Island spanned only one hour and the one in Washington was three hours and fifteen minutes, I ended up seeing more of the rally on Long Island. I was not the only one who missed a good part of the Washington rally. The turnout was much higher than anticipated. Even so, it is better to get there late because so many people were there than getting there early because too few people came.
Some people said that showing up was what mattered, not how long you were there. Others like me felt that especially after such a long trip, it would have been better to have been there for the full program or longer than we were. Nevertheless, even if I had known beforehand that I would come so late, I still would have gone. It was heartening to see such a cross section of our community united in its support for Israel. Hopefully, the next big rally in Washington will be a celebratory gathering and not because of a dangerous situation.
For me, the most unusual part of the rally occurred on the train going from the parking lot by FedEx Field to the rally. When the train came to the station near FedEx Field station, ten of us went to the last car. No one else was there for the entire time. We davened Mincha in the car. It ended up being a good idea since some of us got back to the bus after dark.
Unfortunately, many in the media quoted the AP estimate of the crowd size of thousands, nowhere near the 290,000 estimated by the organizers. This doesn’t include the approximately 250,000 who were watching it live stream. What received as much coverage as the rally itself was what happened to a group from Detroit who were left at the airport because drivers called in sick when they found out where they were supposed to drive a group of Jews to a pro-Israel event. The crowd’s respectful conduct received coverage in contrast to the pro-Palestinian rally by the DNC headquarters the next day that almost led to a riot.
On a completely different topic, George Santos has been indicted in Federal Court. The first eight charges relate to Santos’ scheme to obtain funds for personal use through solicitation of funds for his campaign. In other words, he defrauded donors. To date, he has not been tried. There was an ethics department investigation into Mr. Santos’ conduct. The findings include him using funds for personal expenses which are consistent with the Federal charges. Although Mr. Santos has not yet been convicted, it appears that his days are numbered since there is a vote to expel him which is expected to pass.
To put this in perspective, Mr. Santos’ conduct did not hurt voters but only donors. It may be on the level of Trump paying hush money right before the 2016 election, which relates to the charges in the New York County criminal case. This is considered least significant of the four Trump criminal cases. The other cases cut to the core of what it means to be an elected official: keeping and misusing documents that he had no right to keep, obstruction of justice, and trying to overturn an election by illegal means to stay in power. Yet Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination and Santos is a goner. I expect the Trumpians to claim that the DOJ is going after Trump for political reasons. Santos also claims that the DOJ wants him out because they think that the Democrats can take back the seat. Also, the Trumpians argue that Trump has not been convicted of any crime. Neither has Santos. They are both waiting for their criminal case to be tried. The Republicans may argue that a House Committee after an exhaustive investigation concluded that Santos engaged in improper conduct. That is all that is needed to expel him. There was also a House Committee after an exhaustive investigation that concluded that Trump’s engaged in improper conduct. Yet the Republicans in the House of Representatives are not stating that Trump should be expelled from the list of candidates for the Republican Party’s nominee for President. Instead, many have already come out in support of his candidacy.
I hope Santos does not fold and forces the Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote to expel him. It will show everyone what a bunch of hypocrites they are. There should not be one standard for Trump and a different standard for everyone else.