The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
When I moved to Brooklyn from Michigan over twenty years ago I registered to vote as an Independent, unaware that doing so would prevent me from voting in almost all crucial primaries. Though I came to that realization soon afterward, I felt such intense loyalty to my conservative principles that I simply could not bring myself to switch party affiliations and register as a Democrat.
Many years later I see I was not mistaken in my belief that a name does matter, and certainly a political name matters politically. Though I boxed myself out of participating in almost all local primaries, I did feel like a New Yorker when it came time to vote in elections. And like other New York conservatives – we do exist – I was even able to celebrate an occasional Republican victory in this largely Democratic state.
But I have now been told by my governor that because of my beliefs I “have no place in the state of New York.”
In a recent tirade on a public radio station in Albany, Governor Cuomo lambasted New York conservatives in one broad stroke. While lashing out against New Yorkers who oppose his SAFE Act, a draconian gun-control bill rammed through the New York legislature soon after the Newtown massacre, Cuomo targeted all Republicans and conservatives as the enemy.
“Who are they?” Cuomo demanded. “Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
Well, I believe in the right to bear arms and the right to life, and I oppose gay marriage. I am also a New Yorker. Though I always knew I was in the minority, am I now persona non grata? According to New York’s governor – and to our new mayor, Bill de Blasio – apparently I am.
When asked to comment on the governor’s inflammatory remarks, de Blasio responded, “I stand by that 100 percent…. He was absolutely right to say what he said.”
Are these local politicians taking their cue from their national counterparts? It was candidate Barack Obama in 2008 who infamously labeled blue-collar voters “bitter” as they “cling to guns or religion.” Since then it seems the tone of the rhetoric has become even shriller.
Even jaded conservatives are used to being sidelined because of our right-wing outlook. However, to have proponents of multiculturalism morph into advocates of monoculturalism where conservatives are concerned is dangerous indeed. The liberal banner of diversity is never so threatening as when that agenda of diversification turns inward.
For religious Christians and Jews in New York, this is particularly alarming. A majority of Jewish New Yorkers voted for Cuomo and, more recently, de Blasio. Not a few of those Jewish voters were Orthodox and hold the same conservative social policy positions as “extreme conservatives.” And they are no doubt surprised at the speed with which such contempt for their views was hurled in their faces by the mayor so soon after they helped elect him.
This rhetorical unrolling of the welcome mat for New Yorkers who disagree with the liberal agenda has caused many of us to question our place in the state and city. And the outrageous verbal affront translates into facts on the ground for many religious Christians, as Cuomo is pushing for such a massive expansion of access to abortion in New York, including the lifting of restrictions on third-trimester abortions, that the organization Democrats for Life of America has called the proposed bill “the most sweeping abortion legislation in the nation.”
About the Author: Sara Lehmann, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, was formerly an editor at a major New York publishing house.
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Appointing Gold, a strong right-winger, is a clear message to the Obama administration that Israel’s fed up with its illusions.
The Chief Rabbinate will invite Rabbi Riskin for a hearing on whether to extend his term, ostensibly because of his age but possibly because of his views on conversion.
Hareidi Jews dance as they celebrates the end of Jewish holiday of Shavuot at the Kotel in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday night (and that was after just 2 days, imagine how they danced in Galus after three!).
Two cops who ordered a pizza vomited instead of getting high.
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Actress and comedienne Meara Stiller died on Saturday at age 85.
Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah is getting very scared of Islamic State’s advances.
Between June 2014 and April 2015, the suspects habitually hurled rocks and firebombs into a number of Jewish-owned homes and facilities in A-Tur.
Nobel Prize winner John Nash (86) and his wide Alicia Nash (82) were killed in a car crash on Saturday night in New Jersey.
The boys were heading to a Shavuot study session when they were attacked by the Arab terrorist.
Remarks by the President on Jewish American Heritage Month – May 22, 2015
Despite efforts to revive Jewish cultural life in Poland, which has met with a measure of success and support from Polish officials, Poland still remains a virtual graveyard of its prewar glory days.
The fact that a congresswoman and head of the DNC felt the need to recant what is obvious and at the same time threatening to American Jews is more of a commentary on the state of American Jewry and less on the dishonesty of a dithering politician.
In his September speech to the UN, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed to that fox when he compared Iran to the Nazis.
It is hard to believe that only one hundred years ago religion played such a central and accepted role in the personal and governmental lives of American citizens that its invocation was standard.
We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.
What’s important is to make the case for Israel more forcefully and to give it the articulation that the next presidential candidates ought to have.
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