Colors: Green Color

On Thursday, June 3, the Queens Jewish Community Council, the Queens Jewish Link, and the Bukharian Jewish Link sponsored an online forum for candidates for the City Council in the 29th Council District. Eight of the nine candidates participated; Aleda Gagarin did not respond to the invitation. Ms. Gagarin and her husband Mel, who ran against Grace Meng in last year’s Congressional Primary, have a long history as anti-Israel activists. They have defended the BDS movement, which calls for the destruction of Israel, on free speech grounds. Aleda recently tweeted that she joined the Democratic Socialists of America because they stand up for “oppressed people,” like “the Palestinians.”

Anti-Semitism is never funny” was the theme this past Saturday night at a rally outside NBC studios in Rockefeller Center, the broadcast home for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). Some 150 demonstrators were on hand to brace the cold chill and join former Assemblyman Dov Hikind – now head of the Brooklyn-based Americans Against Antisemitism – in denouncing the now infamous joke by comedian Michael Che. The noise seems to not bother the head honchos at the network, as no statement or apology has surfaced. Was it anti-Jewish or simply anti-Zionist is a question on people’s minds. The reality is that the comedian indulged in unwarranted hatemongering that brought out even more Jew-hatred from others. For those unaware, he joked that “Israel is reporting they’ve vaccinated half of their population. I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.” The joke to many Jews is seriously unfunny and anti-Semitic.

On Thursday, June 10, WCBS Channel 2 hosted the last televised debate between candidates in the Democratic Primary for Mayor before the start of early voting. A significant portion of the time was wasted discussing where people live. Most of the debate focused on serious questions.

 A few days ago, former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the United States Senate of charges of inciting the January 6 riots at the US Capitol. Two weeks ago, the House of Representatives voted to strip Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments. Last week, Ilhan Omar was named Vice Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights. The common thread through these events is that neither political party has a monopoly on virtue, neither deserves to be demonized, and that hypocrisy abounds in both parties.

I have always known Pesach Osina to be a doer and a uniter. Osina, a candidate running for City Council in Far Rockaway and Bayswater, is both a friend and a confidant whom I have called on many occasions for advice. His knowledge and expertise are top-notch and he will be an active force for the communities he hopes to represent in District 31.