Warren Hecht called me last week and asked me if he could come by my house and have a picture taken of the two of us. Although he did not tell me that it was for an article he was going to write about us, I suspected it was for that reason, and was glad to oblige.
The article proved to be even more gracious than I thought. His words were effusive but heartfelt. There is no doubt that politically we are polar opposites, certainly as it affects our outlook on Trump. Without expressing it, I think of Warren as suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, while Warren likely thinks of me as a hopeless Trumpster or Trumpet, as he calls them.
Yet, as Mr. Hecht stated, politics aside, we have mutual admiration for each other. Warren very generously expressed his assessment of me and my treatment of him over the years. Although I believe liberal thinking is bringing ruination to this country, I find Warren to be one of the most decent and intellectually honest people that I know. As I told him, he is much more courageous than I am in going out on a limb as a columnist to state his beliefs.
While my days as a Queens resident are coming to a close, I do hope to continue writing for this paper, with G-d’s help, even after we move. This gives me an opportunity to ask Warren a few closing questions. He can choose to respond, if he cares to, in a future column.
Why do you detest Mr. Trump so much? What has he done that is so egregious?
Is it that he is a grubber yung, Yiddish for an abrasive person? While Trump talked coarsely, he pales in comparison to what Bill Clinton actually did while in office (and for that matter, John Kennedy). Yet there is little doubt that many anti-Trumpers voted for Bill Clinton twice.
Is it all the scandals he was accused of? Well, the hatred for him began the moment he came down the escalator to announce his candidacy for the presidency. The media and Democrats knew that if there were no scandals, they had to create them. That goes on unabated.
Given the record of false accusations leveled against him by the Democrats and the media, including the Russia hoax and the phone call to Ukraine, plus dozens of personal and business accusations, how can you believe anything thrust against him? Why aren’t Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler removed from Congress for knowingly making up lies and subjecting this country to years of division? Why isn’t the media pursuing Hillary Clinton’s role in all of this? And don’t forget the brazen lies leveled against his SCOTUS appointee Brett Kavanaugh.
Why, when it comes to scandals involving President Biden, including the Hunter Biden affair, are we told “nothing to see here, folks!”? Nothing to talk about his plagiarism of papers in college. Or his false claims about graduating on the top of his class. Or his inaugural remarks that he will do everything to unify the country politically, while immediately issuing about 50 Executive Orders that defy everything conservatives stand for. Or his strange behavior with females.
What about Israel and its enemies? While the Biden administration must be credited for being supportive of Israel in its most recent war with Arab terrorists, Biden did extend to the PLA millions of dollars, which undoubtedly will be used for the “pay to slay” program. Just this past Motza’ei Shabbos, seven Jewish people, mostly American visitors in Jerusalem, were shot by a terrorist. The PLA responded with great praise for the assassin and extolling his bravery. Any doubt Israeli enemies now feel a supportive tailwind coming from the American administration? Note that the Biden administration did express horror at the violence, yet it did not explicitly condemn the PLA terror.
Hakaras HaTov. Trump was the most supportive American president Israel ever had. You know the whole list. Do we not, as Jews, owe him a debt of gratitude?
Mar-a-Lago: The raid on Mr. Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago was a transparent political stunt. This was an embarrassing stain on our country. Have we become third-world, like Sri Lanka or Tunisia, where a former president’s house is ransacked? Even the most ardent anti-Trumpers should feel a sense of shame. Furthermore, given the four years of unending hoaxes and lies by his opponents in the political arena and in the media, how can we believe any accusation against him, including January 6? We will never know what the truth is. That is sad for the whole country.
Honestly, I would much rather see a different person become the Republican candidate. Ron DeSantis would be my favorite. He has all the leadership qualities of Trump, yet he is not a grubber yung. But I still do not understand the personal animus toward Trump. Warren, can you help me with that?
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld is the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, and former President of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens.