I am writing to thank our Assemblyman Dan Rosenthal for taking the time to fight anti-Semitism by a candidate running for City Council in our district. It is not so easy anymore to fight anti-Semitism, as these forces have no shame anymore. He has taken some hits for this fight, as the candidate and her allies are truly shameless. We are truly privileged to have him as our Assemblyman and I hope he can continue to serve us for years to come.
I’m sure it’s not easy for him to commute to Albany all the time with a new baby at home, and I’m sure he misses her a lot. We appreciate his sacrifice for our community.
Newly elected progressive Congressman, and member of the “Squad,” Jamaal Bowman, representing NY 16th CD – parts of the Bronx and Westchester – recently joined the crowd of Israel-bashers, taking a jab at the Jewish state by tweeting that PM Netanyahu must “ensure that Israelis and Palestinians both have access to the COVID vaccine.” He added, “This cruelty is another reason why the occupation must end.”
However, according to the 1993 Oslo Accords, Palestinians must take care of their own health services. They are a separate entity. Furthermore, the Palestinian authority gives millions to families of terrorists with monthly cash benefits (“pay for slay”). Instead of rewarding and encouraging murder, they can use the funds to purchase vaccines. Knowing the facts and having an understanding of the region would be useful to the congressman. He need not fall prey to anti-Israel rhetoric.
Efrat, Formerly of Bergenfield
With such an intense focus on the present, the future has faded almost completely out of our collective minds. As we continue to journey toward the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, we must now consider how we will rebuild our city when we reach that destination.
New York City has been on a slippery slope back to the “bad old days” for a little while now – an issue only greatly exacerbated by the pandemic. We are in a place where crimes of all types are on the rise, most disturbingly hate crimes. A place where many New Yorkers are homeless or on the brink of homelessness. A place where our school system is failing our children and robbing the foundation of our future. A place where our healthcare infrastructure is failing our seniors and the most vulnerable among us. This is not a place we can continue to let New York City be.
It is no secret that our criminal justice system is broken – too often petty criminals are imprisoned for decades while vicious criminals are allowed to walk free. Recent criminal justice reform has exacerbated the latter issue while not adequately addressing the former, and as a result our streets are less safe. This manifests in the higher crime rate we’ve seen, including hate crimes.
Racist attacks, anti-Semitic attacks, anti-immigrant attacks are all too commonplace in our city these days. As we emerge from COVID, we must prioritize putting an end to them. Every New Yorker has a right to walk in our city without fear that an unprovoked attack is awaiting them around any given corner. New Yorkers deserve safe streets and courageous leaders willing to fight for them.
Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza have made it clear that they are more interested in having an equal school system than an equitable one. With their plans to kill the Specialized High School Admissions Exam and end the Gifted and Talented programs so many of our children have benefitted from, the Mayor and Education Chancellor have done an almost criminal disservice to our city’s future. They are prescribing aspirin for a headache cause by a brain tumor.
Eliminating these programs and these tests hurts every student. It strips a challenging curriculum away from our brightest students, and does nothing to address academically underperforming students. New York City’s children deserve a school system built to help them flourish and reach their full potential. True equality cannot be decreed; it can only be born of an unequal situation that is equitably addressed.
Finally, coming out of the pandemic, New York City seniors deserve to live dignified, comfortable lives. Our seniors must be celebrated, not shoved aside. We must make sure our seniors have the medical care they need, food on their tables, and a roof over their heads. When we fail to protect seniors, we fail as a community.
Although it doesn’t seem like it, COVID will be over sooner than we think; and once it ends, we will need to decide what our values as a city are.
Candidate for NYC Council District 24
Our corner of Queens, like much of our borough, is built upon acceptance, mutual respect, and understanding. Many of us – or our ancestors before us – came here fleeing persecution, running from the violent hatred of fascism and extremism to this land of promise and opportunity. Yet we still battle these same issues of bigotry and anti-Semitism right here in our communities, and we must strive to end these toxic divisions once and for all. It will take all of us, working together, to make this a reality.
The Jewish and South Asian communities have both been attacked repeatedly by those who are fearful and seek to harm those who are different and those they do not understand. It is why we stand united in so many causes, why we feel a responsibility to support both the refugee and the resistor, and why I have dedicated my life and my career to encouraging nonviolence and making our streets and our communities safe from hate crimes and bias crimes. As Councilmember, I will continue to defend all our families from the attacks and hateful rhetoric of those who seek to divide our communities or marginalize our residents.
But healing the damage done to our world by injustice demands more than just stopping evil from happening. In this time of global pandemic, we must actively work toward healing our communities in the face of economic desperation, growing inequity, and rising bigotry. I am uniquely prepared to confront these challenges; from working as a mental health professional in our schools to helping victims of violent crimes, I always have prioritized protecting our most vulnerable – from our aging population to our children. As Councilmember, I will protect social service agencies from the Mayor’s proposed budget cuts and deliver vital funding for Jewish non-profits and community organizations whose work has been critical in helping families to survive over the past year.
With food insecurity rising, the city must do a better job of providing culturally appropriate and kosher meals to all who want them, and alerting families as to how to do so in their own language. We cannot expect our children to learn when they are hungry; and we cannot expect them to learn effectively if their safety is at risk. I can promise that you will have a strong advocate on all these issues and more when I am elected to the City Council.
For years, I have worked hand-in-hand with community leaders like Rabbi Romiel Daniel and Rabbi Moshe Saks to build a Queens where all are welcome to thrive, work, and worship together. Serving as an elected official in our neighborhoods requires more than doling out funding or standing at a press conference to denounce those attacking our communities. We must work together as allies, with a singular vision and purpose, to create a city where our beliefs and traditions are not just accepted, but are celebrated, and our needs are not just understood, but truly met. I am humbly asking for your support and your vote to be our next City Councilmember, and together we can put our communities first.
Candidate for NYC Council District 24
The witch hunt has begun. The Democrats plan to go after Trump and his supporters to get their revenge. They are impeaching Trump even though he is no longer president. They say that he incited the riots. Trump actually called for a peaceful protest. However, the Democrats are not interested in the facts. They wish to force socialism on us and they are calling for de-programming of anyone who disagrees with them.
Freedom of speech will be limited to the speech that the Dems allow – freedom of religion. A case in point is Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond. They are refusing to sell My Pillow products because the owner of the company is a Trump supporter. I called Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond and let my feelings be known. I strongly suggest that QJL readers call them, too. We have to speak up now or forever hold our peace.
I was appalled to read Sharon Marcus’ recent poem. It is one thing for you to give voice to a wide variety of opinions, no matter how ridiculous. You have also given repeated airing to various highly implausible “alternative facts” (e.g., that there was indeed massive fraud in the last election, contrary to the assessment of 60 judges, the Supreme Court, William Barr, etc., not to mention multiple recounts). But, in this submission you have crossed a line.
In it, Ms. Marcus expresses a horrible k’lalah (curse), using words from the holy Tanach, no less. And of course, her target was not just anyone, but the duly elected President-Elect of this country.
A curse is neither an opinion nor an interpretation of events. All words have meaning and substance in Judaism, but a blessing and a curse have real power. Who does Ms. Marcus think she is, to direct a curse, using the words of Tanach, against anyone, let alone the President-Elect? And, should the QJL be the vehicle for such activity?
I would like to thank Rabbi Schonfeld and Mr. Hill for their commentary of President Trump. The mainstream media is nothing less than propaganda and we need intelligent voices to shed the light of truth on the issues.
I would like to also point out that I am deeply offended by Warren Hecht’s ridiculous column. He puts up a picture of a neo-Nazi as if to imply that all Trump supporters are Nazis. He also compares Hitler to Trump by stating that just as it was important to prevent Hitler from coming to power, it is important to prevent Trump from ever running for office again. The message is simple: Trump is another Hitler. It appears that Warren has a more serious case of Trump Derangement Syndrome than I ever imagined. I am worried that he may actually believe the drivel that he writes. Hitler was one of the most anti-Semitic leaders who ever lived. Trump is one of the most pro-Jewish leaders who ever lived. Hitler and Trump are diametrically opposed to one another.
In addition to being very pro-Jewish, Trump was great for America. His policy was “America First.” Joe Biden believes in “China First.” The Paris Agreement made restrictions on America but not on China. Trump left it and Biden went back into it. The WHO was good for China and bad for the US. Trump left it and Biden went back into it. Trump made America a net exporter of oil. This was very good for America. Biden put a stop to this by canceling the Keystone oil pipeline. The Iran nuclear deal was very bad for Israel and America. That is why Trump left it and Biden is going back into it.
The truth is that Trump was good for America and Biden is very bad for America. The mainstream media will not let you hear the truth. For the sake of this country and the world, I hope saner minds will prevail. But I cannot be very optimistic at this time. There are just too many people who think like Warren Hecht.
Much of the discord in the country right now comes from many people believing that the election was stolen, following the lead of certain politicians and segments of the media. The riot on January 6 was certainly driven by that. Although that belief isn’t based on any evidence that passes scrutiny, it has continued to be pushed by columnists in the Queens Jewish Link.
Two weeks ago, Moshe Hill cast aspersions at changes in the vote tally on election night, despite the cause for that being well established (mail-in votes that by law couldn’t be counted before then were finally tabulated).
Last week, Rabbi Oppenheimer called it a lie that courts upholding the results ruled on evidence of fraud, saying the rulings were virtually all due to standing or timeliness. However, Courts in the battleground states continually did specifically reject claims of fraud on the merits, and ruled that the counting observation protocols were lawfully followed. He mentions that the Supreme Court case was only rejected for standing, but that lawsuit was not alleging fraud, and was only trying to invalidate votes that were cast according to the rules in place for the election (and it had many other problems). In many cases, allegations made by the Trump campaign in the press were never mentioned in their court pleadings, where they would have to be backed up by evidence to be taken seriously. The “suitcases of ballots being brought out after hours” mentioned by Rabbi Oppenheimer was investigated by the authorities and Board of Elections in Georgia, who found that nothing improper was done. Recounts in Wisconsin and Georgia disproved many of the allegations, as well. And on it goes.
Now, those who continue to push the stolen election narrative have turned to citing the fact that many people seem to believe their incessant misinformation as proof that it is true. It’s going to be hard to move forward if that continues.
I am writing regarding Mr. Hecht’s articles of the last two weeks. It was bad enough that he compared Trump to Haman. The following week, he compared Trump and Trump supporters to Hitler, which is a big chilul Hashem. The Holocaust was not a joke, and comparing someone to Hitler is not right whatsoever.
A descendent of a Holocaust survivor
Partial Guide to Biden’s Legislative Agenda (Satire)
WASHINGTON, DC—In preparation of Biden taking office this week, the transition team has released a partial list of legislative items that Biden hopes to pass over the next four years. And yes, they’re as bad as you think. For any survivors of Trump’s tax cuts and repeal of net neutrality, this just might be the nail in the coffin. Take a gander at these golden nuggets of insanity:
The Voter Integrity Act – makes it a felony to vote for a Republican
The Every Vote Counts Act – requires the government to automatically add the nation’s deceased to the voter rolls in every state
The Trump Hasn’t Condemned Violence Act – requires Donald Trump to condemn violence every five seconds for all eternity
The Leftist Tears Tumbler Act – establishes a secret police force to seek out and destroy all of Ben Shapiro’s ‘Leftist Tears Tumblers’ once and for all
The Religion Containment Act – requires all Americans to stay at least six feet away from all houses of worship to curb the spread of religion
The Rioting and Looting Protection Act – requires Walmart to stock up on extra TVs and other devices to prepare for the nation’s next riot and subsequent looting
The Abortion for McDonald’s Act – gives every American who has an abortion a free happy meal from McDonald’s
The Fair Wage Act – raises the minimum wage to $1,000,000 an hour
The Hands Against Violence Act – requires the government to cut off everyone’s hands to put an end to gun violence
The Paid Vacation Act – mandates 12 months of paid-vacation for every American worker
Hurry, we have to move quickly to stop Biden from implementing his totally wacky and insane agenda! Maybe he’ll forget that he’s president or something, and his trusty advisor Dr. Pepper – his pick to head the Coronavirus Task Force – will have to remind him what he’s doing in the White House. Or he can just pass another law outlawing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Whichever happens first.
I have been seeing many in the Jewish community promoting increased censorship and deplatforming for those with “dangerous” views. Trump supporters, scientists who don’t conform to the status quo, conservatives, even libertarians are considered “threats” who need to be silenced. The Anti-Defamation League, which I naively used to think was solely about combating anti-Semitism, called for the removal of then-President Trump from office, his deplatforming from social media, and a crackdown on online speech.
Such efforts are like playing whack-a-mole, if you take down one online platform, another one will rise in its stead, with improved censorship-resistant technologies. This has proven to be the case with online piracy: For every pirating website taken down by law enforcement, several others rise up to take its place. One could reason that attempting to increase online censorship will actually increase true extremism, as well as make it more difficult for law enforcement to find. Forced out of mainstream social media onto increasingly extremist and shadowy areas of the Web, even ordinary people may become radicalized. I have seen with my own eyes extremists using the ADL’s promotion of censorship as proof of their own anti-Semitic ideas. The ADL and others on the left may well be causing the very extremism they hope to squash. When people have no way to let off steam vocally and suddenly feel ostracized from society, they tend to turn violent; as such, censorship is a terrible way to combat extremism.
I would also like to remind my Jewish brethren that Jews are no strangers to censorship, and should be very hesitant to support censorship. What happens when the ADL, which openly supports the LGBTQ agenda, decides that our very own Torah promotes “dangerous trans-phobic ideas” and should be banned? There are many prayers we say that could be construed to be “politically incorrect” without proper background, and many like to call the Talmud “racist.”
What happens when cancel culture and left-wing politicians come for the Talmud? The Rambam’s books were burned in 1242 by the Church in Paris, after pro-censorship Jews denounced them. Many believe that this terrible incident led to the tragic mass burnings of the Talmud just a short time later. And of course the text of the Talmud itself has faced many edits from censors over the course of its history.
The Nazis also famously burned Jewish books they deemed “un-German.” The cancel culture, which is currently sweeping through society, is not at all a new phenomenon; it’s just the methodology that has changed. History repeats itself, again and again, when we fail to learn from the past.
Why should Jews promote an idea that has consistently harmed us and our religion?