There was a time when dog catchers played a vital role in the community. Menacing dogs had to be removed from the streets for public safety. The dog catcher was a public official who was elected to his position by the community he served.
Today, there are a lot more menacing creatures running around. They are human criminals. There are also some very threatening politicians who have impacted our entire way of thinking across the country.
We are now living in an intensely politically correct, “woke” environment. Freedom of expression is suppressed by those who preach freedom of expression. He is she. She is he. And either are “they.” “Systemic racism” is confronted by teaching kids how to be systemically racist. Violence is hailed as a virtue and an effective tool to make social gains. Police are vilified. Criminals are coddled. Work is scorned and being idle is rewarded. Terrorists are victims and victims are terrorists. Science is malleable as putty to conform to current social ideals.
All this can only thrive in an upside-down world. And we are living in such a world. Only in such a world, with such a perverse outlook, can Israel respond to thousands of missiles being launched into its civilian population and be charged with war crimes for doing so.
Much of this leftist pull got started by one crafty politician right here in Queens: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC, known as Sandy the bartender before catapulting into her public political career by defeating longtime Democratic incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, caused the earth to quake. She is now probably the most feared, if not respected, politician in the Democratic landscape – definitely the most influential.
She took on Amazon in Queens and kept out the multi-billion-dollar company, which offered thousands of local jobs to her constituents. Nu, nu. No problem. She took on corporate America and beat them. That’s all that counts. In this “yes is no, he is she, success is evil” society, that’s all that counts. Israel is the villain, Hamas are the heroes. All is cool. So sorry this caused an unprecedented wave of anti-Semitism. It’s an unfortunate by-product of a very noble way of thinking.
That is why every election and every elected official is critical to the survival of normalcy, and of our Jewish community the way we know it. Every election. The lowliest can turn into the most prominent in a flash. Today, it’s public advocate; tomorrow, it’s anti-white racism. Today, it’s councilman; tomorrow, it’s bail reform. Today, it’s borough president; tomorrow, it’s police reform. Today, it’s comptroller; tomorrow, it’s gender equality. Today, it’s mayor; tomorrow, it’s closing jails.
There are some candidates running for various positions who demand our total support, considering their opposition. Avi Cyperstein is an Orthodox Jew who has served major parts of Queens admirably for years. Some of his opponents are an anathema to every value we possess. Anyone living in Kew Gardens, Rego Park, Forest Hills, and Richmond Hill who values anything normal must be sure to vote for him.
Jim Gennaro has been a trusted servant of our community. We are lucky that people like Jim are still in politics. We cannot afford to have a Democratic, anti-Israel Socialist gain a foothold in Queens. David Weprin, running for comptroller, will need every vote he can get from us.
All the other positions are, of course, equally important – and represent an equal bulwark against political lunacy. I will be glad to share my opinions with you privately.
If someone is running for dog catcher, be very careful for whom you vote. It could spell disaster down the road. Vote!
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld is the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, former President of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, and the Rabbinic Consultant for the Queens Jewish Link.