I am appalled to learn that the CUNY Law School's faculty council has just approved a despicable anti-Israel resolution that was originally written and issued by the CUNY Law Student Government Association on December 2, 2021.
This resolution proclaims that the CUNY Law Student Government "proudly and unapologetically endorses the Palestinian-led call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel"; calls upon CUNY to "divest from and end contracts with all companies that aid in or profit from Israeli colonization, occupation, and war crimes; end all Israel student exchange programs"; and ‘cut all ties with organizations that repress Palestinian organizing and end its complicity in the ongoing censorship, harassment, and intimidation of Palestine solidarity activists, including through ending contracts, academic collaborations, and refusing to be complicit in the targeted harassment and silencing of Palestine solidarity activists.’
The above is a summary of the "resolved" clauses of the resolution. But before one gets to the "resolved" clauses, one must wade through a stream of stomach-turning "whereas" clauses like: "WHEREAS the unceasing military occupation and colonization of Palestine by the Israeli state is a manifestation of both settler colonialism and structural racism, supported politically, financially, and militarily by the U.S.;" and ‘WHEREAS CUNY, including CUNY Law, is directly complicit in the ongoing apartheid, genocide, and war crimes perpetrated by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people through its investments in and contracts with companies profiting off of Israeli war crimes."
The U.S. is a supporter of settler colonialism and structural racism?
Israel, which well knows better than any country on the face of the earth the unspeakable horrors of genocide, is now - according to this resolution - perpetrating it?
Who would have ever thought that any academic institution in any free society – especially a public law school in our so-called tolerant and diverse great City – could ever degrade into such a bigoted, factually-ignorant, cesspool of hate-zombies capable of such moral collapse and, worse yet, be supported and affirmed by their soulless law professors who are no doubt extremely proud of their successful indoctrination of these young minds with their anti-Semitic and anti-American propaganda.
This is beyond sickening. With anti-Semitic assaults in NYC up 325% in the last year, this is the anti-Semitic poison that our CUNY law students and their professors are feeding into the public mind? This will serve only to fan the flames of anti-Semitic hatred and violence. Shame on them.
Let the record show that my office is severing all ties with CUNY Law School effective immediately. I will no longer entertain any funding requests from CUNY Law School, nor will my office be partnering with this institution for any future events or initiatives. And I call upon all CUNY Law School alumni to withhold donations and support for this citadel of hate. My message is loud and clear: It is my obligation to challenge and defeat anti-Semitism wherever I see it.
Council Member James F. Gennaro
I was astounded to see the “Chicken Soup isn’t enough” NYC Health ad in your paper this weekend. How could you accept such an ad? It is essentially stereotyping Jews – in such a PC environment, no less. I sent a complaint to the NYC Health Department. But ultimately, you share the blame for allowing it to print in your publication.
When I was in high school, I thought that geometry was a waste of time. That belief was based on my poor grades and my terror in anticipation of the Regents exam. Now, many years later, and many failed attempts at parallel parking, I realize I was wrong. However, I never underestimated the importance of learning percentages, since I can now figure out the price of an item at Macy’s after an initial 40% off, and then an additional 30% off the reduced price.
I am writing this piece not to bore you with my math challenges, but to address the women or men who do not pay or look at the bills. Ignorance is not bliss! It’s nice that as Shavuos approaches, you can bake blintzes and make a roast at the same time because in your new kitchen, you have separate ovens for meat and dairy. However, do you know how much that new kitchen cost? Did you take out a home equity loan for it and at what percent interest?
Sure, that home in New Jersey or West Hempstead is much larger and less expensive than your 18-footer here. Nevertheless, did you take into account the property taxes, yeshivah tuition, shul dues, and transportation costs to get into the city? You will notice that the difference is another mortgage payment. President Biden isn’t going to forgive your eight-year-old’s $20,000 loan to pay for yeshivah.
Is your mortgage fixed or variable? Did you take out a home equity loan to pay for your children’s beautiful wedding? Is your home insurance through the roof because you wanted to live near the beach? Did you faint when you received your heating bills this winter? Is your 16-year-old son’s newly acquired driver’s license driving you into the poor house?
I’m not suggesting that you live like a pauper. I’m merely recommending that as Sy Syms once said, “Be an educated consumer.” Know your bills. If your spouse pays all the bills, suggest that you would like to share the burden. Don’t be caught off-guard by your expenses; be in control of them.
While I certainly understand how your paper might want to showcase diverse views in the “Your Say” section, I believe there must be a limit. This paper is supposed to be geared towards the Orthodox community and, as such, should follow the guidelines of halachah as well as a Torah-true hashkafah. After all, isn’t that why your paper has a rabbinic consultant?
I therefore suggest that the ramblings of Mr. Pecoraro no longer be printed. His views are often at odds with halachah and always against our Torah values and hashkafos. His writings wouldn’t be acceptable as a weekly column, so why should this be any different? There are plenty of liberal progressive rags that espouse his goyish point of view; do we need it here, as well?
Rabbi Oren Kagan
Cedarhurst, New York
Abortion is highly correlated with low income, single motherhood, and other problems.
Those who oppose non-medical abortion would do better addressing these issues than debating laws or court decisions that they have no control over.
Can Elon Musk End World Hunger?
I don’t have much to add to the national conversation about Elon Musk’s impending takeover of Twitter, aside from what people have said already. But there is one interesting aspect of the conversation that may have been pushed to the wayside and overlooked, even though it’s just a side point – but an important point, nevertheless. Over the course of the past several weeks, I’ve seen many liberal commentators and pundits complain that Musk could put his money to better use by spending it to end world hunger instead of spending it to purchase Twitter. Musk even got into a Twitter spat over this with the United Nations’ World Food Programme director, David Beasley, who laid out a plan to spend $6.6 billion to fight world hunger.
So, the question is this: Can we end world hunger with billions of dollars in aid to other countries? What if Musk spent his entire $44-billion purchase of Twitter to end world hunger? Would it have the desired effect? The answer in a nutshell is no – and let me explain why.
Economist Thomas Sowell observes in his book Wealth, Poverty, and Politics that people have a misconception about how to tackle global poverty, and that’s because they’re asking the wrong questions. People almost always ask, for example, “What is the origin or cause of poverty?” – but that’s the wrong question. And it’s the wrong question because man was born into poverty. The default state and existence of mankind for hundreds and thousands of years was one marked by poverty and misery. So, we know the origins of poverty – it’s been the default.
Now let’s fast-forward to the past 100 years of history. In that relatively short period of time, there has been an explosion of wealth, prosperity, and economic growth that has spread far and wide – from the United States to Germany, and to Japan. In that same period of time, global poverty has been cut by more than half. But how did this happen? How did mankind manage to pull itself out from the shackles of poverty and misery and into wealth and prosperity? Or, put differently: What is the origin or cause of wealth? Because wealth – and not poverty – has been the anomaly in the existence of mankind, the part of our existence that was never the norm. That’s the question that we should be focusing on more than anything else.
What brought about this extraordinary explosion of wealth and economic transformation, of course, was the growth of democracy and free markets worldwide – or in other words, the interplay of political and economic freedom, which are essential to the wealth and prosperity of any nation. No other economic system has done more to liberate mankind from poverty as the free enterprise system. No other economic system has created as much wealth for as many people as the free enterprise system.
We can now begin to understand why handing out billions of dollars to poor nations will do little to alleviate global poverty. Imagine, for example, that I gave $100 to a poor person living in Zimbabwe or Nicaragua. It’s hard, as it is, in those countries, to obtain the basic necessities of life, given the chronic shortage of goods and services. But let’s say the recipient of my donation was able to obtain those necessities – what will happen to the money at the end of the week? He will most likely have used it up. Then the next week he’ll require another injection of cash, and then the week after that another one, and so on and so forth. Now apply this to entire populations, and while the equation becomes larger and slightly more complex, the outcome is almost exactly the same: The recipients of these initial monetary donations will eventually run out of money and they’ll require never-ending injections of cash.
As it turns out, the primary economic problem in these poor countries isn’t the absence of money – it’s the absence of a robust, free market economic system that can create wealth and lift the poor out of poverty. People need actual things to survive, not money. Money won’t house you, feed you, clothe you, keep you warm in the winter, or keep you cool in the summer. Money is a means to an end – the consumption of goods and services – and not an end in and of itself. And money by itself cannot reduce world hunger. You need the necessary political and economic infrastructure in place to do that, which these poor countries are sorely lacking. You need a functional economic system based on free enterprise, combined with a democratic political order, to reduce world hunger. Nothing or no one else is capable of doing that. Not the United States. Not the United Nations. And not even the richest man in the world, Elon Musk.
I’m a recent transplant to the Queens area. I love my new neighborhood (winky face): the easy access to shopping, public transportation, shuls, and how friendly neighbors have been with getting to know me and my family.
My family and I enjoy reading the Queens Jewish Link on Shabbos, and my children (all teenagers) and I love reading Goldy Krantz’s column. Some are dating, others aren’t. We love how she writes like a friend would speak – straight on. She gives an honest opinion and doesn’t try to tie a mashal or musar into any of her articles. She seems like she can be my daughter’s friend or even my friend.
The last couple of articles haven’t been about dating so much as they have been about family dynamics and communication. Goldy says that she isn’t a family or child therapist, but she has a knack for hitting the nail on the head, using what she has learned, her experience, and common sense. She’s a favorite of our family, and usually turn to her article first to read.
Past political history will repeat itself concerning Steuben County Supreme Court Judge Patrick McAllister upholding the gerrymandered State Assembly district boundaries designed by State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and friends to preserve his control of over 100 or more of the 150 seats. Heastie has just built upon previous reapportionments going back decades. In the 1982 reapportionment, Democrats eliminated the districts of Queens GOP Assembly members Rosemary Gunning, John LoPresto, John Flack, Al DelliBovi and John Esposito. John Gallagher gave up his Assembly seat in 1972 to run unsuccessfully against Democratic Congress Member Lester Wolff. Doug Prescott recaptured this seat in the 1990s, but eventually lost, leaving Queens with no GOP Assembly members.
GOP state senators Frank Padavan and Martin Knorr voted for the 1982 reapportionment plan, as it continued to protect their own gerrymandered districts. In 1977, Republican Rabbi Sheldon Farber won a special election to fill a vacant seat against Democrat State Assembly member Gerdi E. Lipchutz, despite a 4-to-1 Democrat versus Republican voter registration advantage. This temporarily gave the Queens GOP a record three State Senators. Farber declined to run in 1978 as he knew the odds were against him winning a full term in what traditionally was a safe Democratic State Senate seat.
Despite overwhelming Democratic Party enrollment in Queens County, creative gerrymandering by the GOP-controlled State Senate after the 2000 census continued to preserve the seats of both Republican state senators Serphin Maltese and Frank Padavan. Eventually Democrats beat Maltese in 2008 and Padavan in 2010.
Queens Republican return to Albany continues to be doubtful. According to the State Board of Elections, as of February 21, 2021, there are 772,051 Democrats, 130,532 Republican, 5,140 Conservative, 3,393 Working Family, 25,479 Other political parties and 268,373 Blank (voters that express no party affiliation) for a total of 1,202,968 active enrolled voters.
Remnants of the once relevant Queens County GOP can now fit in one old-fashioned, street-corner telephone booths, which disappeared. Voters will have to look elsewhere for alternatives to the Queens County Democratic Party monopoly.