As I have previously stated, I try to avoid getting involved in Israeli politics since I live in America.  However, I want to make a comment concerning Shmuel Sackett’s column last week about how he would like Israel to expel those who cheer on people who murder Jews because they are Jews. Or as he put it, “Arabs who support acts of terror in Eretz Yisrael must immediately and permanently removed from the land.” If Mr. Sackett wants the government to take strong action against individuals who support those who engage in deadly violent conduct, I expect that he would take the same position concerning Jews who support other Jews killing Arabs. One name comes to mind: Baruch Goldstein, who on February 25, 1994, Purim morning, killed 29 Muslims praying at Maarat HaMachpelah in Hebron. He has become a hero to some on the far right and was a member of the organization represented on the t-shirt Mr. Sackett was proud to wear.

One of the letters to the editor suggested that Sholom Markowitz and I exchange my column and his letter to the editor before publishing so they both can come out the same week. This idea has many logistical problems, including that I do not know anyone named Shalom Markowitz. If we both davened in the same shul or if he were someone I’d known for a long time and had his contact information, that may be a different situation.

The biggest story this past week was the balloon that came from China, which went across most of the United States until it was shot down off the coast of South Carolina. It was not just a small, empty balloon; it was the size of three buses and contained equipment. The Chinese government claims it was a weather balloon that veered off target, while the United States government says it was used for spying. 

 Last week, The New York Times broke the story about a letter dated January 11, 2023, sent by three committee heads in the New York State Senate – all of whom are Jewish – to the President of Yeshiva University. One of the three signatories is longtime Queens County State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. Although The Times referred to portions of the letter, I did not want to rely on their description of its contents and thus obtained a copy.

It was not too long ago that there were certain standards of behavior by public officials that would not be tolerated by the public. It did not matter whether the person was a member of the party that you supported. Those days are gone. Now the standard is: If you are on my side, as long as you have not been convicted of a crime, you are acceptable. In contrast, those on the other side are judged based on the old rules.

If you are a Democrat, you have to be happy about how things recently transpired concerning Congress and the President. You saw the President, along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans, at a ceremony touting the repair of a bridge that is being financed with the funds of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act bill. Also, on the second anniversary of January 6 attack, Biden gave the Presidential Citizens Metal to individuals in law enforcement who defended the Capitol from the mob attack and election officials who also at great personal risk made sure that the results were properly certified.