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Rabbi’s Blog: Netanya, Voting, AIPAC, and CUNY

06/28/2022 04:07:59 PM


Dear OZ family,

Greetings from Netanya!

It is a unique Israel experience to hear a public service announcement in a mall that alerts shoppers to an upcoming minyan for Mincha.

Every mall has a shul and every store or outlet has a Mezuzah. Although Israel currently does not have a sitting government, the country is humming along quite smoothly. With new elections on the horizon, Israelis are reminded of the pervasive presence of a particular politician, and even my cell phone is on on it, as my auto- spell check changed my city to Netanyahu.

I have been doing quite a bit of driving on this trip. Most American drivers consider the horn to be used sparingly and mainly to alert someone to imminent danger. In Israel, the horn is used mainly to inform other drivers that they are driving too slowly, or too obnoxiously. At night they use the more menacing flashing of the headlights, and since almost everyone here drives like a meshugenah, the roads are filled with the cacophony of honking and flashing headlights.

On a more serious note, one simply has to see everyday life in Israel to put to the lie, the despicable accusations of apartheid made by many in the press and academia today. Arabs and Moslems have integrated fully into everyday life in Israel and if there are restrictions, they come to places that send their people to murder innocent Israelis. Any other country in the world would react with far greater restrictions than Israel, in the face of the threats she receives.

I once asked our congressman, in the heat of the 1st Intifada, what he would do about all the terror if he were Prime Minister of Israel. He said that he would put out a warning that whatever city the next act of terror comes from, that entire city would be leveled to the ground. There you have it. Yet Israel acts with incredible constraint in the face of existential threats from all around. 

And right here in our own city, the anti-Israel rhetoric has reached a fever pitch. Neideen Keswani, at the CUNY law-school graduation spoke of using all the knowledge she gained in her education, to undermine and de-legitimize Israel. She said this to the cheers of the graduates. Below, I included a link to a clip of her despicable words. There is a Solidarity Rally scheduled for June 30 at 8:45am at City Hall, in support of the City Council’s hearing on Anti-Semitism on college campuses. 

Remember that today is also primary day and we need to remind our elected officials what we expect of them and to make our voices heard. You can find your polling station at the link below.

I have also included valuable information below about Israel from AIPAC.

Alisa joins me in sending our best regards from Beit Elazraki in Netanya. The children graduate from this home with the strength to take on life’s challenges with confidence, as they enter the army, hesder yeshivot, or Sherut Leumi. It is inspirational to watch this happening every year.

Stay well, and stay healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz








Mon, May 29 2023 9 Sivan 5783