NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2021/09/30: New York State Governor Kathy Hochul holds a COVID-19 briefing at governor's office in Manhattan. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

By Larry Gordon

New York State’s current governor, Kathy Hochul, was endorsed last week by both Satmar Rebbes and in the past by a combination of rabbis and influential community leaders in Far Rockaway and the Five Towns.

Considering the current political climate here in New York and in the country overall, such a move demonstrates a lack of vision as well as a sectarian selfishness that is just not a good thing for the public at large.

A spokesman for one of the Rebbes said that the endorsement of Ms. Hochul does not mean that there are no other good candidates running for governor.

Kathy Hochul who hails from Buffalo, New York, was a virtual unknown until Andrew Cuomo’s political career hit a brick wall at high speed about a year ago. And the issue is not that she is a liberal or a leftist. Some of those involved in endorsing her reelection told me that they believe in her and trust her because she is a good and decent person.

Let’s assume that this analysis is accurate and she is all those things. Still, she has demonstrated a distinct inability to improve life in New York because as the Democrat Party candidate she is stuck—attached to extreme leftists in New York who are our government leaders.

Congressman Tom Suozzi would have been a better choice to be the Democrat on the November ticket, but his candidacy never achieved any real traction and that has hampered his ability to raise money and mount a serious campaign.

Our religious leaders should make it their business to put their strength and influence behind a candidate who shares our community’s values. There’s something wrong with endorsing leaders who support late-term and even partial birth abortions and who advocate for the State Education Department to involve themselves in yeshiva curriculums that will mandate that our students study subject matter that is an anathema to our heritage and community values.

But, no, the decision here seems to be based on how much money is promised to our almost always cash-starved educational institutions. What is the price for leadership to sell out our values and the fundamental tenets and beliefs that define the Orthodox Jewish community?

This is not to suggest in any way that our leaders are selling out, chas v’shalom. That is not the case here. This is about what they feel is prudent politically, and their spokesman said that their endorsement of Hochul is because she has the advantage of incumbency, which always gives a candidate an important lead over opposing candidates. They are hedging their bets, so to speak.

Yes, New York is by far a Democrat Party-controlled state, but this year the possibility exists to elect a Republican governor, a friend of our community, one who will not require us to exchange our values and priorities for money. Of course, it takes courage to do that, and so far that is the component that is sorely lacking at this stage.

Biden = Obama In Israel

{IMG VP Joe Biden and PM Benjamin Netanyahu 3-9-16 – credit Amos Ben Gershom GPO.jpg

{Caption: VP Joe Biden and PM Benjamin Netanyahu meet on March 9, 2016

{Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

President Biden will be in Israel in about two weeks for meetings with the prime minister—whoever that will be at that time—and there is serious concern and even suspicion about the motives for the visit.

The reason is that while Biden will be there in person with his foreign-policy team for the visit, it is most likely Barack Obama calling the shots. And Barack Obama wants Israel on board with the U.S. effort to restore Obama’s agreement with Iran on that rogue state’s endeavors to achieve nuclear status.

Biden was going to meet with Naftali Bennett, but now that has changed with the vote scheduled for next week to dissolve the current government and in all likelihood go to elections once again, this time at the end of October. Simultaneously, there is a movement afoot to avoid another election and form a new coalition majority in the Knesset without elections.

Now Bennett will have to step aside as per his agreement with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, whose party is considered a left-leaning centrist political entity. Once Bennett leaves office next week, he will have had the shortest reign as prime minister in Israel’s history. So now when Joe Biden is in Israel he will be welcomed by and will be meeting with a new prime minister who will most likely break Bennett’s record.

Israel will be holding their fifth election in four years in an effort to establish a government not composed of those working for Israel’s dismantling.

A favorite to lead the next government is former prime minister and current opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. If he is successful, this will be his third stint as Israel’s PM. The only question is how this is going to be different than the previous three elections, when Bibi made more than a few attempts to form a 61-seat coalition in the Knesset but just could not get it done.

Naftali Bennett of the Yamina Party with just six seats in the Knesset could not patch together a government either until he struck a deal with the Islamic Ra’am Party, a move previously considered to be objectionable in putting together any coalition in Israel’s history.

This time around, Netanyahu can make it happen, but party leaders in Israel, including Bibi, will have to place the greater good and benefit of the country ahead of personal political grudges and ambitions.

There are multiple political party combinations that can be formulated in order to create the right wing pro-Israel government that the people of Israel need.

A few days ago, Michael Oren, former ambassador to the U.S. and former MK, was in the Five Towns on behalf of United Hatzalah. Oren spoke at the Young Israel of Woodmere on Monday night and we had the opportunity to meet with him prior to the event at the Cedarhurst office of attorney Shalom Maidenbaum.

The conversation was timely and wide-ranging considering that the news of the coalition dissolving was just a few hours old. Among the points made by Oren was that in all his years in Israel—he moved there from the U.S. 43 years ago—there has never been a leader in Israel that people trust like Bibi Netanyahu.

He explained that Netanyahu is a remarkable talent who excels at the three most important components necessary for the success of a leader. He says that Bibi is “a great decision-maker, diplomat, and communicator.”

On a nuclear Iran, Oren says that it is vitally important that they not achieve nuclear weapon status for an even stronger reason than we realize on the surface. He explained that Israel’s enemies have tens of thousands of missiles pointed at the Jewish state. The theory is that once Iran has a nuclear weapon, groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas will unleash their missiles, the superior Israel military force will respond, and then Iran will potentially use their nuclear weapons to defend their allies.

On the upcoming Biden visit, under present circumstances the president has no one with any power or influence on the political or diplomatic process with whom to speak. Lapid will be a caretaker prime minister who will not be able to address the issues that Biden has indicated are important.

On top of that list is peace with the Palestinians and the establishment of a capital for them in Jerusalem. In his talk, Michel Oren pointed out that only 4% of Israelis list peace with the Palestinians as an important priority. The number-one issue is security, and concessions to the Palestinian leadership are one of the issues that jeopardize security.

In the past, failed American presidents have always turned to the elusive Israeli–Palestinian peace process so that they might have some hope of at least one accomplishment. This time around, like so much else, this just won’t work for Joe Biden. And that is because there is nothing to talk about and, more importantly, at this stage, no one really to talk to. 

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  1. You’re complaining that Satmar’s endorsement of Gov. Hochul reflects self-interest as opposed to ideology.
    Isn’t every Haredi endorsement based on self-interested back-room deals? You write as if something new is going on.

  2. B”H Dumbest essay in a series of ilk-considered opinions by Larry Gordon; written with evident deficiencies in English usage (vainly and repeatedly brought to his attention); dogmatically pushing a right wing agenda under the false rubric of advancing “our values.” Do they include depriving religious schools of instruction in secular subjects (mathematics, social studies, English)? Vetoing the right of women to exercise reproductive discretion (in consultation with spouse, doctor, spiritual advisor)? As a Republican I reject Larry’s obtuse insinuation to cede such progressive initiatives to the Democratic Party! Empathy and compassion are hardly political qualities, except in the undereducated mind of the publisher-editor of the now notorious 5TJT. Now, his narrow interpretation of Jewish Orthodoxy permits an open assault on the civic-minded Satmar minority whose savvy assessment permits them to come to a different decision —- endorsing the election of Kathy Hochul to a full four-year term as our Governor. Let’s reject the Gordon nay-sayers, and his poison pills he regularly administers to his readers. With fraternal affection, Asher 🙏🤣🔯🇺🇸😀

  3. The problem with you, Larry, is that you think voting for a guy who was a nasty, amoral, serial philanderer, made derogatory remarks about Jews, and tried to engineer a coup is voting your values. If that’s what you believe, then your values are heretical and they suck.


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