The battle to protect Israel is also being fought here. You need to do your part by supporting candidates who are pro-Israel and are sympathetic to the needs of the Jewish community by voting effectively in the upcoming election. This means voting in the Democratic Primary, if you are eligible to do so, even if you plan to vote Republican in the General Election, and understanding and taking advantage of the ranked choice voting system.

As the rockets flew into Israel, three candidates for Mayor – Eric Adams, Ray McGuire, and Andrew Yang – made statements in support of Israel. The other candidates offered more nuanced statements. The anti-Israel progressive left is hard at work trying to elect candidates across the city and in our neighborhoods in Queens. Organizations with Jewish in their names are working right alongside them.

Candidate for New York City Comptroller Brad Lander frequently uses Yiddishisms. He recently tweeted: “It feels great when your mishpocha shows up for you,” as he kvelled over his support from The Jewish Vote. Do not be misled; The Jewish Vote is a project of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, a leftist, pro-Palestinian organization that opposed Governor Cuomo’s executive order to divest public funds supporting the BDS campaign against Israel. Lander has proudly stood with another member of his “mishpocha,” his “sister” Linda Sarsour.

My colleague Moshe Hill recently wrote about IfNotNow, an organization that uses a quote from Hillel in Pirkei Avos as they proclaim their hatred for Israel and assure the “Palestinian resistance” that “American Jews are with you.” If leftist anti-Israel candidates succeed in our neighborhoods, you can be sure that organizations lie. Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and IfNotNow will use those results to proclaim that they represent American Jewry. The responsibility to prevent that from happening is in our hands.

Here is what you can do:

Vote in the Democratic Primary. The Democratic Primary is the arena in which the battle is being fought. The reality is that in heavily Democratic Queens, the winner of the Democratic Primary will almost certainly win the election. If we wait till November to vote against those who are hostile to our interests, it will be too late. Voting in the Democratic Primary is not a vote for or against the Biden administration or a vote of support for the Democratic platform. It is a vote for who will represent us in City Hall. Your sitting out the Democratic Primary does nothing to support the Republican Party or to oppose the anti-Israel progressive left. In fact, you will be doing exactly what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her allies want you to do: sitting on the sidelines and making it easier for them to win.

Only enrolled Democrats can vote in the Democratic Primary. If you enrolled as a Democrat when you first registered to vote and never changed your enrollment, you are still an enrolled Democrat. You could have voted Republican for the past 20 years and plan to vote Republican for the next 20 years. You can still vote in the Democratic Primary and make your voice heard.

You can check your registration status online at or by phone at 1-866-868-3692.

If you are not yet registered to vote, you have until May 28 to register and enroll to vote in the Democratic Primary. You can register online at You can register to vote by mail by downloading the application at

If you are enrolled as a Republican, you cannot vote in the Democratic Primary. I strongly urge you to vote in the Republican Primary for Mayor between Curtis Sliwa and Fernando Mateo.

If you are registered to vote but are not enrolled as a Democrat or Republican, you cannot vote in either Primary. After the Primary, you can change your enrollment until February of next year.

For those eligible to vote in the Primary, you can vote early in person – between June 13 and June 20 – or on Primary Day, Tuesday, June 22, at your usual polling place between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. To find your early voting location and hours or your poll site on Primary Day, go to

To vote by absentee ballot, go to

Understand and use the ranked choice voting system effectively. This year’s primary will use a system of ranked choice voting. You can rank up to five candidates in order of preference. This means that we can vote for our favorite candidate as #1, while ranking those who we may disagree with on many issues but are preferable to their opponents from #2 to #5. To defeat our most dangerous opponents it is critical that you rank five candidates for each office. To better understand the ranked choice voting system, participate in the Queens Jewish Community Council’s seminar on Wednesday, May 19, at 6:00 p.m. at rb.gv/hapj2s.

Be an educated voter. Learn about the candidates. This newspaper, together with the Queens Jewish Community Council, will sponsoring a Zoom forum featuring candidates for the City Council in one of the key battleground districts, the 29th District, covering Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, and Richmond Hill, on Thursday, June 3, between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. We will also be sending questionnaires to candidates in key races and printing their responses in this newspaper. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the people who want to represent you.

Volunteer to help get out the vote. We need to get out the word about the importance of voting to everyone in our shuls, yeshivos, and community organizations. The security of Israel, the safety of our streets, and funding for our community are all at stake. We need people in every synagogue and organization to send e-mails and make phone calls to their friends and neighbors. I will be working with the Queens Jewish Community Council to organize a massive get-out-the-vote drive for the upcoming primary. We will need your help. To join in this effort, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Manny Behar is the former Executive Director of the Queens Jewish Community Council and was a senior aide to several public officials. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..