Sergey Kadinsky did his usual professional job in covering a news story, this time about the KGH homeowner who stopped a burglar at gunpoint. What is missing from the story is that, thanks to their heroic efforts, all three bandits were apprehended by the police of the 107th precinct, two the following day. However, thanks to the reckless Bail Reform bill, they did not spend a moment in jail and were immediately released by the judge. I know this from the police directly.
We have a mayor, our newly elected Queens DA, a councilman, and a state senator who support this lunacy. When the dust settles from our current health crisis, we must rally our troops to defeat this bill by letters, emails, and a public rally to the bill sponsors. If not, we have only ourselves to blame. All these progressive bills seem so compassionate and caring until it comes home to roost. And it has. In a big way.
If you have the time now, I suggest you call or write their offices now. Some of them are very helpful to our community, no doubt. But our safety and well-being are paramount.
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld
Bill de Blasio’s choice of words in his now infamous tweet two weeks ago was poor and generalized the Jewish community. That in itself isn’t wrong, but that’s not the only points that Izzo Zwiren made in his article last week. The main points Mr. Zwiren made are that de Blasio was being anti-Semitic by targeting Jews, enabled anti-Semitism to occur with his tweets, and that his tweet was another example of Democrats and the Left being anti-Semitic. These comments are ridiculous and inflammatory, and Mr. Zwiren fails to sufficiently back up any of his arguments.
I don’t think it’s any secret that there has been a serious problem with secret minyanim, secret yeshivos, and general events happening in our community. We have had a serious problem with people who wouldn’t listen to their fellow Jews or city announcements, and they continue to gather in secrecy. Obviously, what he said generalized the problem and he was wrong for doing so; but to say that he unfairly targeted Jews is absurd. We have a serious problem, which other communities have not dealt with. It’s also absurd to say that there’s unique policing of Jews, and there’s no real evidence to prove that. The only thing they can do in defense of their point is to show pictures of gatherings, without context or any idea what happened afterwards. Very scientific.
By using the same logic that Mr. Zwiren is using, Donald Trump and others who’ve agreed with him have enabled racism against the Chinese community in the United States by criticizing the Chinese government. Israel as a country has enabled racism by putting a ban on Chinese travelers traveling to the country. People could see the things that were done by these parties and think that all Chinese people carry diseases! I think most people would understand the problem and analogy with this. You can debate whether they were right or wrong statements or actions to make, but to say that they enabled people to be racist is ridiculous. Someone can take any statement the wrong way, and if someone would take a spark like that and start to be hateful because of it, then they were just inherently hateful. Nothing that someone else said would change that; the person is just looking for a reason and thing to place his hatred on. I think most readers of this paper would agree that Trump and Israel haven’t enabled racism, so de Blasio shouldn’t have enabled anti-Semitism by the same logic.
Mr. Zwiren revealed his true intentions with his article, by going off topic and bringing up irrelevant points dealing with criminal justice reform and New York being a blue state. He and many like him have tried to prove the conspiracy theory that Democrats (and the Left) has been the party that has been the true party of anti-Semitism for a long time, and that it was time for all Jews to become conservative, or they aren’t true Jews any longer. This is a completely idiotic message. No one says that there isn’t anti-Semitism on the Left, but articles like these try to prove this idea with no evidence. He cites de Blasio’s lack of response to anti-Semitic attacks as proof of the rise of this claim. Whether you think his response was weak or not, to say that it’s proof of anti-Semitism by Democrats is inflammatory. Even the idea that de Blasio is causing anti-Semitism is foolish, as said before. Even the point was valid; you just have to look at the replies to de Blasio’s tweet to see where the anti-Semitism is coming from. Richard Spencer and other right-wing trolls are the most favorite replies. Does this mean that anti-Semitism is a right-wing problem? Where are the Leftist anti-Semites in New York? This thinking is dangerous and divisive.
Mr. Zwiren says these things because he himself is a conservative who just disagrees with many Democratic policies. He and many other conservative commentators write articles like this to make it seem like their party is on a higher moral plain than the other one, while ignoring the faults of their own party. He and his constituents need to stop trying to promote this conspiracy while pretending that they are just trying to stand up to anti-Semitism.
I’d like to send a message to ignorant or selfish grocery shoppers.
In case you’re unaware, New York and especially Queens, has been the epicenter of the current pandemic. It is therefore mandated to wear a mask or other face covering, the entire time, while grocery shopping or while inside any other essential store. Last Thursday evening, while I was grocery shopping (the store had more customers than other times), I noticed a new trend emerging: Several customers were wearing masks around their necks or covering their chin only, while their noses and mouths were completely exposed. Some did this because they are either ignorant, couldn’t care less about infecting someone else, or cannot possibly abandon being on their cell phones for the duration of their shopping. Whether wearing a mask or face covering is uncomfortable for you, prevents you from being able to carry on conversations with others, or is not particularly your idea of a fashion statement is completely irrelevant. The purpose of this is to protect infecting employees and other customers. Your nose and mouth must both be covered while inside, or it defeats the purpose.
If you are ignorant and don’t understand how viruses are transmitted, please educate yourself or consult with a competent infectious disease doctor; but in the meantime, you must adhere to the store rules. If you are selfish, and figure that you and your family already had the disease, weathered it, and are now immune, so why bother covering your nose and mouth…think again! Also, if you managed to overcome COVID-19 with very little difficulty and think what’s the big deal, think again! If you assume that because your entire family had COVID-19, therefore everyone else in New York must have already been infected and exposed, so who cares, think again!
Firstly, since this virus is “novel” (as of the time of this letter), it is unknown whether you can be re-infected or for how long you have immunity. Secondly, this world was not created solely for you. If you weathered this pandemic without much difficulty, count your blessings! Perhaps as an appreciation to G-d, you should have some consideration to protect your fellow citizens and local community. If you want Hashem to further protect you from harm’s way, make sure you don’t harm someone else. As they say, what goes around comes around. Realize that we are not all in the same boat and everyone has a different circumstance and a different immune system. Many people are shopping and taking care of elderly parents, working hard to protect them. The last thing they need is to bring home the virus, which can be lethal. Others have someone in their family who may have risk factors and will not be able to battle this virus.
Furthermore, at least have some respect for the medical personnel, Hatzalah, and all first responders, who are simply exhausted and working overtime to save lives. After 120, I doubt anyone would want to go upstairs and be held accountable for negligently infecting another and being the cause of someone’s death. Once again, I implore you to follow proper protocol, and cover your nose and mouth while shopping, until you are told otherwise.
Concerned for Public Safety
Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to blame Washington for all of our problems just like his political ancestors from past decades. His most recent complaint is distribution of trillions in federal COVID-19 funding between the states. He has an insatiable appetite for more and more federal assistance with no concern about increasing the confiscatory level of taxation to generate the revenues along with increasing long-term borrowing to pay for this, or how the billions of dollars are spent. He believes throwing more taxpayer dollars at problems will solve all of society’s ills.
The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan documented how New Yorkers sent more money to Washington than we get back. Many of the 50 states could make the same argument. This imbalance also holds true in the distribution of state aid from Albany to the 62 counties of our state. Within New York City, residents of Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Manhattan (or each of the 59 community planning boards) don’t always get back the same amount of money sent to City Hall, Albany, and Washington. Within any of our 62 counties, you could take this analysis down to every town, village, and local census tract. Cuomo should practice what he preaches when distributing billions in state dollars.
Thank goodness for Goldy Krantz’s last article. I thought I was the only one going cuckoo and losing my mind and patience with my kids during quarantine.
My husband is considered “essential,” so he’s gone most of the day. I have three really great kids aged between ten and four. Each has “school lessons,” but it feels like punishment for me because I have to supervise the session for the two younger kids, or else they’ll just walk away from the computer. We only have one laptop. So one child always misses 15 min of class because the other child is using it. Plus, the kids want to be entertained all day long. Board games and electronic games are now “boring,” after two months of using them every day. They’ve watched videos, read books, created a fort, had a dance contest. The weather hasn’t been the greatest, but I try to get them out of the house – but someone ends up missing part or some of their class. I’m not a tutor or at-home teacher, but I’m tethered to the computer with them. Last week I gave up. I have no patience. I’m running around all day, but feel like I’m doing nothing because the house is a wreck and I’m always “going to do that.” I close the door to my room for 15-minute breaks, but someone always ends up knocking on my door. I can’t blame the kids. They’re stuck in this, too.
But thank goodness Goldy said she’s feeling like I feel, because I thought it was just me! I have a friend with teenagers who doesn’t hear the fighting between kids all day and her kids fix their own meals, so she can work in peace. Another friend has a toddler, but her babysitter comes for five hours a day.
Anyway, thank you, Goldy, for making me feel normal, even though that wasn’t the point of her article, but that’s the part I read over and over.
I’ve noticed in the April 30 edition that Mr. Hecht got key facts wrong about what President Trump (who by the way is doing an amazing job) said about injecting disinfectant into one’s body. He claimed that the president was telling people to inject Lysol and other disinfectants into their body, but clearly the president was not! I am outraged that Mr. Hecht would say such falsehoods (just like the mainstream media), because I know that people will take this at face value and not watch the full clip with context. I think that there should be someone to fact-check his claims. I’ve enjoyed this newspapers and I’ve welcomed different opinions, but Mr. Hecht is taking this way too far! He was also thanking the fake news media even though they have been very inconsistent with their reporting, stating that this is not about politics even though all they do is blame Trump for everything. I think Mr. Hecht should put politics aside right now and just focus on the positive.
Thank you, and hatzlachah to all.
WARREN HECHT RESPONDS:
In my April 30 column, I quoted the president’s comments about the possible injection of disinfectant. Contrary to Mr. Urtzman’s claim, the comments were not taken out of context. As I noted in the article, one only had to see the horrified look on Dr. Birx’s face to get the correct context of the statement. When faced with extensive criticism of the comment, the president explained that he was being sarcastic, which was clearly inaccurate. Even some of his supporters did not buy it.
Assuming that some in the media are very critical about Trump, Mr. Urtzman’s comments about the media indicates that either he does not watch Fox News Channel, read the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, or does not consider them to be part of the mainstream media. These outlets are known for being supportive of the president.
Mr. Urtzman also asks that we should take politics out of the equation. This is after he attacks what he and the president like to call the “fake news media.” The irony is that Trump has been the biggest offender of not putting politics aside. I could spend a page listing the times when the president has played politics. Just this month, former president George W. Bush asked Trump to put politics aside and unite the nation, and the president blew him off. Likewise, he did not allow Dr. Fauci to testify before a House Committee (which has a majority of members who are Democrats), while allowing him to testify before a Senate committee (majority members who are Republicans). Trump explained that “The House is a bunch of Trump haters.” I am positive that this indicates that the president is playing politics and will continue to do so until the election. Unity is not a word in his vocabulary.