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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gov. Cuomo’

Gov. Cuomo in Solidarity Tour in Israel, Rejects Abbas’ Invitation

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo started out his top-billed solidarity in Israel Wednesday with a visit to President Reuven Rivlin and a rejection of an invitation to take a side trip to Ramallah.

“Our message is simple and it is clear: We stand with Israel and we support Israel,” he said. “Everyone wants the killing to stop, but at the same time, Israel must have the right to defend itself. That is the message we will convey.”

With 81 percent of the state’s Jews having expressed preference for Cuomo in the 2010 pre-election polls, he is going for broke in the re-election campaign and does not seem too worried about the Arab vote.

“I think that the governor is choosing to be reflective of only one constituency in this conflict,” Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, told The Wall Street Journal.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to the United Nations, where it is a permanent observer, was ambassador to the U.N. of Palestinian’s permanent observer mission, wrote a letter protesting the solidarity trip. “The responsible action would be to visit the Palestinian people and their leadership too and to see firsthand the wider context of this conflict,” he wrote.

Thanks, but no thanks. The governor’s officials deftly explained that the invitation was received too late to allow for a change in his schedule.

Quick thinking.

He would have a hard time explaining to Jews his “solidarity trip” by visiting Ramallah and would have an equally hard trip explaining to Mahmoud Abbas how much he supports Israel.

The governor did not directly reject the Palestinian Authority invitation but stated, “This trip is to show solidarity with Israel, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Republican State Sen. Dean G. Skelos, who also is on the tour, was more direct and declared, “Why would I want to go there and give any credibility to Hamas?”

Cuomo stated after the trip was announced, “New York has always had a special relationship with Israel. As Hamas and other terrorist organizations continue to threaten Israel, now is the time to deliver that message of solidarity in person.”

He has visited Israel three times, once as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and he met with Yasser Arafat.

That was then.

The governor and senior New York legislators set up a photo-op, complete with American, New York and Israeli flags before he left the El Al terminal at JFK Tuesday night.

The itinerary for the governor’s trip includes the usual – a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and a visit to the Western Wall.

Cuomo also will visit with Israelis who were under bombardment from Gaza missiles in the war.

Lack of ‘Kosher Cop’ in New York a Problem for Kosher Consumers

Monday, October 28th, 2013

The departure of the head of the Kosher Law Enforcement Division of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has created a vacuum in which many consumers have charged that there are many incidents of misrepresentations of kosher foods.

KosherToday has learned that the Department is looking for a replacement for Rabbi Luzer Weis but that it has no plans to rehire the inspectors that were ousted in an ostensible budget move several years ago.

Sources say that while the Department is committed to staff the kosher division with an official, it hopes that some of the routine kosher law enforcement will be carried out by New York State health inspectors.

Observers note that the absence of the inspectors has allowed co-mingling of kosher and non-kosher items in aisles that are labeled as kosher. Some Orthodox Jewish organizations have been urging the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo “to put teeth back into kosher law enforcement.”

Black Leaders Want Hikind’s Head for Purim Blackface (+ Video)

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The day after Purim (Monday), Orthodox Jewish Assemblyman Dov Hikind apologized for his choice of blackface as his Purim costume. But that didn’t quite satisfy the folks he offended, the fuming African American community leaders who probably never tatsed a decent hamantashen.

Because, let’s face it (no pun intended), in addition to his forthright twitter apology: “I am sincerely sorry that I have hurt anyone,” and “I apologize for the pain that I have caused anyone by this incident, and by any remarks that I have made in connection with it,” Hikind, according to Gothamist, also said stuff like “sorry if you’re offended,” and (on Zev Brenner’s radio show) “Would that be OK Zev? If I played a gay person next year?”

So, incomplete contrition in anyone’s books. In response, on Tuesday, several elected officials and African American community leaders—including Mayor Bloomberg— spoke out against Hikind at a press conference at City Hall, calling his Purim choice and his comments “arrogant,” “degrading,” “shameful” and an attack on the dignity of the African-American people.

Oy vey.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (center).

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (center).

Assemblywoman Inez Barron criticized Hikind for his general lack of enthusiasm for erasing the ravages of slavery (mostly because Hikind never hid his strong support for racial profiling).

“Dov Hikind’s latest antic is another reveal of who Dov Hikind really is,” Barron said. “His assertion that he did not know that appearing in blackface is offensive to black people is incredulous… Mr. Hikind, your egregious behavior is shameful, degrading, unacceptable and unworthy of a leadership position.”

I’ll tell you, we could be offended by this incredibly disingenuous exploitation of one man’s temporary loss of political savvy (Hikind is such a clever political animal normally, he’s been running for years as the only Republican elected official who is part of the Democratic caucus in Albany). But, to be fair, if we lose control over every joke at the expense of Jewish Hollywood moguls, we can’t cry foul over a blackface.

Barron’s husband, City Councilman Charles Barron, called on Gov. Cuomo and Speaker Sheldon Silver (another Orthodox Jew, but less Republican) to take away Hikind’s post of Assistant Majority Leader.

“His inability to repent, to generally repent and ‘get it,’ is another problem,” Barron said. “The governor needs to say something, and we need to go beyond condemnation verbally.”

Local community leaders in front of City Hall also said Hikind’s costume was more than just an offense. “The NAACP…fought against ‘blackface’ in the ’20s and ’30s. For an elected public official to feel comfortable not only dressing in blackface but defending his actions is an outrage that says to me that the dignity of African-American people is under attack,” cried Reverend Conrad Tillard, a minister at the Nazarene Congregational Church of Christ in Bedford-Stuyvesant. “As a clergyperson, I am here to say that we will defend our dignity. We will not allow public officials, corporations or anyone else to demean or deprive us of the dignity that we deserve.”

Silver, by the way, has already publicly rebuked Hikind’s Purim choice, as did Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman.

By the way, Mayor Bloomberg was not planning to be in the press conference, he was just passing by on his way into City Hall, when Councilman Barron asked for his opinion on the scandal and Bloomberg answered: “This time, we agree.”

Part 1

Part 2

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/yoris-news-clips/black-leaders-want-hikinds-head-for-purim-blackface/2013/02/27/

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