Trending Topics:

‘We are Israel and Israel is us’ — Governor Cuomo ends all the confusion!

on 26 Comments

Folks are talking about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s petulant piece in the Washington Post defending his indefensible executive order barring state business with anyone who advocates Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel. Obviously, he couldn’t get it published in his hometown paper, the New York Times. That’s another good sign.

So is this sort of absurd statement that is bound to offend Americans:

New York stands with Israel because we are Israel and Israel is us. Our values — freedom, democracy, liberty and the pursuit of peace — are collective, as is our drive to achieve them.

So is this hideous description of the Israeli war on Gaza in 2014 that resulted in about 72 Israeli deaths, all but six combatants, and 2200 Palestinians deaths, including the deaths of 500 children.

The coldblooded terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv this week served as a chilling reminder of the summer of 2014, when a steady rain of terrorist rockets from Gaza confined the vast majority of the Israeli population to bomb shelters and protected rooms. During a visit with a bipartisan delegation that August, I was shown a miles-long Hamas tunnel built to infiltrate Israel’s southern communities and murder their residents. The tunnel was frightening because it was the manifestation of the single-minded obsession by Israel’s enemies to destroy the Jewish state. And yet, in many ways it was not nearly as frightening as continued efforts to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel.

That is why I recently signed the first executive order by a U.S. governor to help protect Israel from these pernicious efforts to punish it economically.

There is simply no acknowledgement of what everyone supporting Bernie Sanders knows and Sanders said in the April New York debate: Israel inflicted disproportionate attacks on Palestinian civilians, and they still haven’t rebuilt their homes.

Cuomo tries to meet the widespread contention by civil libertarians that his order is a McCarthyist blacklist on free speech by arguing that BDS is anti-semitism: “the politics of discrimination, hatred and fear.”

There is a clear, well-established legal distinction between political speech — whom you vote for, whom you stand with in a public rally — and blatant discriminatory conduct such as BDS activities. If a business owner refuses to serve or hire someone based on race, religion or ethnicity, it is illegal and sanctionable. If that same person attends a political rally decrying one group of people — African Americans, Jews, the LGBT community — it is constitutionally protected speech.

So the governor entirely conflates Judaism and Zionism, and leaves out the many Jews who support BDS. As the governor of a state that is Israel, Cuomo reflects Israeli fears about BDS:

Dressed up as a peaceful challenge, the BDS movement is in fact anti-peace. It is a smear campaign designed to delegitimize the state of Israel and inflict severe economic damage.

The several references to economic damage and New York’s economic partnership with Israel along with the claim that BDS is a “new brand of warfare” are all reminders that even as Bloomberg News says that BDS is failing, because Israeli trade is way up, the psychological damage has been huge. Michael Arnold, Bloomberg’s reporter in Tel Aviv, laments that Roger Waters isn’t coming to play any time soon, and he’s a Roger Waters fan.

The piece surely got rejected by the Times because it is crammed with hysteria. It likens BDS to ISIS!

New York will not remain complicit in this intolerant crusade. I call on my fellow governors from states across the nation to join us in rejecting these extremist, radical ideals, because we need to fight this movement on every front.

Across the globe, terrorist organizations are lining up, tearing at the very fabric of our democracies. This is the new normal of terrorism, and we must be resolute in our drive to combat it. We must not lead with darkness, but instead with light and compassion.

The Cuomo order is a huge win for the BDS side. It is so nutty and intolerant it has raised the question in people’s minds of why he is doing this? One obvious answer: For political contributions, from the likes of Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s supporter to whom she has also promised she will fight BDS, working with Republicans.

Thanks to Bill McGowan, who notes, “The piece makes Israel the 51st state. And Hamas’s tunnels and lousy rockets are worse than massive ISR war crimes committed with the help of US supplied weapons. What a naked pandering opportunist.”

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

26 Responses

  1. JWalters on June 11, 2016, 7:50 pm

    Cuomo’s “reasoning” is characterized by name-calling and the omission of vast amounts of relevant evidence. The clear reality to any objective person (not brainwashed or bought) is that Israel is a predator with a “blame the victim” public relations message.

    It’s true that the Nazis were predators, but that cannot justify Zionists being predators. No wordplay, no Torah references, nothing can justify predatory Zionism.

    Here is an excellent analysis comparing Donald Trump’s bigotry with Hillary Clinton’s bigotry toward the Palestinians, by history professor Lawrence Davidson. It includes commentary on the anti-BDS, anti-free speech position Hillary shares with Cuomo.

  2. Fred Schlomka on June 12, 2016, 1:47 am

    Who has been justifying Zionism through Nazi-ism, as suggested in your comment? I didn’t see any reference to this in the article.

    The Torah may not justify Zionist predatory actions but other parts of the bible (Tenach) certainly do. In the book of Joshua for example, before they enter the land, the Jewish people sent an envoy to the Canaanites with the message:

    “God, the Creator of the Universe has promised this land to our forefathers. We are now here to claim our inheritance, and we ask you to leave peacefully.”

    They didn’t leave peacefully and we all know what happened. These references are still used today, 3,000 years later, by extreme Zionists to justify the conquest and dispossession of the Palestinian people.

    • MHughes976 on June 12, 2016, 12:02 pm

      Consulting Carl Ehrlich in Jewish Studies at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Brill 1999) vol. 1 p. 118 – the proclamation by Joshua is not in the Bible but is first found in the Jerusalem Talmud (200 CE and later) Tractate Shebiith 6:1 and expanded by the considerably later Midrash, where it is recorded that some Canaanites heeded Joshua and were rewarded with territory just as good as they had left in Africa. This is an indication of the pangs of conscience inflicted on later Jewish intellectuals by the Conquest narrative.

      • MHughes976 on June 12, 2016, 12:33 pm

        Shlomo Sand in Invention of the Land of Israel p.86 cites a passage from the Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael, assigned by him to 300 CE, though by others to a later date, which seems to assert that the Canaanites moved out en masse, thereby earning the right to leave their name permanently on the land they had evacuated. This would make the ones whom Joshua conquered into a minority of impious holdouts, comparable to the ‘renegades’ in the winning of the American West.
        Just to add that pangs of conscience over Joshua should extend to Christians. It’s sacred literature for us too.

      • JWalters on June 13, 2016, 2:16 am

        Thanks for the “pangs of conscience” analysis. That makes a lot of sense to me. And you’re right about the Christians, too. They definitely used the racism and slaughters in the Bible to justify their enslavement of Africans and genocide of Native Americans.

    • Mooser on June 12, 2016, 12:37 pm

      Got ‘ya, “Fred”! Message received! It wasn’t the Nazis. It was the Torah!
      Me, I blame it on the bossa-nova, but I love Latin rhythms.

      • JWalters on June 13, 2016, 2:17 am

        Agreed, it’s good to get these points clarified. Regarding your own theory, I appreciate your being up-front about your personal bias. Did Jews invent Latin dancing, the Bossa Torah perhaps? Or maybe I’m mixing that up with something else?

    • JWalters on June 13, 2016, 2:15 am

      Fred, from the Torah, Deuteronomy 7:1-2
      When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations — … — and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.

      Deuteronomy 20:16-18
      However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.

  3. Rusty Pipes on June 12, 2016, 4:19 am

    Since “we are Israel and Israel is us,” will a new American flag with 51 stars be flying over the New York statehouse?

    • smithgp on June 12, 2016, 10:48 am

      Better yet, make the 50 stars six-sided and color them light blue.

      • SonofDaffyDuck on June 13, 2016, 9:02 am

        Even better yet…have New York secede, become an Israeli District and build a wall….and throw away the key.

    • chocopie on June 15, 2016, 12:45 am

      Since “we are Israel and Israel is us,” I hope Cuomo enjoys his new existence as a non-Jew living in the Jewish state. I look forward to the Jewish National Fund starting up operations in New York and designating certain real estate for Jews only.

    • nancee on June 15, 2016, 12:50 pm

      Bibi doesn’t want Israel to become the 51st State. Why would he want two Senators when he already has all Fifty.

      • Kay24 on June 15, 2016, 4:35 pm

        Haha, Nicely said. :))

        Welcome to MDW.

  4. Marnie on June 12, 2016, 4:26 am

    All of New York is israel? He needs to be thrown out. He does not serve his constituents – israelis are not americans (which will be next I suppose, when HRC is crowned). What a sorry situation.

  5. CigarGod on June 12, 2016, 9:29 am

    This ought to make donors dig deep. Money always improves the recipients hearing. Let the bidding for the VP slot begin.

  6. Ossinev on June 12, 2016, 10:00 am

    “New York stands with Israel because we are Israel and Israel is us. Our values — freedom, democracy, liberty and the pursuit of peace — are collective, as is our drive to achieve them”

    This sounds dangerously anti – Semitic to me. Very close to the horrendously offensive and deeply wounding,racist,cruel,heartbreaking comments by a Labour MP here in the UK about JSIL being moved to the US.

    Unless of course Cuomo who sounds so desperately in love with JSIL secretly wants all of its lovable population to move en masse to New York where they would be indistinguishable from the local population – or is that move en masse BACK to New York.

    • JWalters on June 13, 2016, 2:19 am


      And thanks for that link. Looks like wheels may be coming off the Zionist bribewagon.

  7. amigo on June 12, 2016, 2:25 pm

    Somehow , sometime ordinary Americans will get tired of this self serving . 5th column bs.

    When dick and jane figure out that their nation of three hundred million people is being led up the garden path by a minuscule bloodsucking insect , they just might get their gander up enough to reach back and swat the offending irritant into anonymity.

  8. JLewisDickerson on June 12, 2016, 10:52 pm

    RE: “New York stands with Israel because we are Israel and Israel is us. Our values — freedom, democracy, liberty and the pursuit of peace — are collective, as is our drive to achieve them.” ~ Andrew Cuomo

    MY QUESTION/COMMENT: I wonder which one (i.e. the U.S., or Israel) is Tweedledum, and which is Tweedledee? *

    * Tweedledum and Tweedledee

    SEE: “Donald Trump’s New Fundraiser’s Israel Connection” | Haaretz | May 26, 2016
    The vice chairman of the Trump Victory Fund, Elliott Broidy, was removed as chairman of the Tel Aviv-based venture capital firm Markstone Capital Partners after paying bribes to pension fund managers [in N.Y.].

    Elliott Broidy, the American-Jewish venture capitalist and the deposed chairman of Tel Aviv-based Markstone Capital Partners, has been appointed deputy chairman of a fundraising organization for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.

    Broidy was removed as chairman of Markstone Capital after admitting to paying nearly $1 million in bribes to pension fund managers in New York State. He is still thought to have extensive political ties in Israel.

    Broidy’s appointment as vice chairman of the Trump Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee sponsored by Trump and the Republican National Committee, comes just weeks after Steven Mnuchin, a Jewish Hollywood film producer and former Goldman Sachs executive, was named Trump’s national finance chairman.

    About a decade and a half ago, Broidy decided to combine a Zionist act and a business opportunity in establishing a major venture capital fund that would operate in Israel. He used his ties with Alan Hevesi, the New York state comptroller at the time, who was also active in the Jewish community, to raise $250 million for the fund from the New York State pension fund, which had $100 billion under its management in the time.

    The stated Zionist mission of the fund as well as Broidy’s ties meant that there was a lot of politics involved in establishing Markstone Capital. In mid-2003, when Israel’s finance minister, and now prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, visited New York and met with finance officials from New York’s state government, the matter of the establishment of Markstone also came up.

    [■ PHOTO OF BROIDY AND NETANYAHU –!/image/1505033149.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/1505033149.jpg ]

    Following that visit, the chairman of Israel’s Histadrut labor federation at the time, Amir Peretz, approached American labor union leaders asking for their help with the new fund. That brought in an additional $50 million for Markstone.

    In the end, however, Markstone turned out to be one of the most resounding financial failures in the history of the Israel capital market. Broidy was removed as its chairman in late 2009 after being accused of paying bribes to New York pension fund managers, allegations that he ultimately admitted to, acknowledging giving nearly a million dollars to state officials in return for the pension funds’ investment of roughly $250 million in Markstone Capital.

    Broidy, who invested in the past in several Israeli startup companies, is understood to have extensive political ties in Israel. He was also a regular dinner partner of the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

    SOURCE –

    • JLewisDickerson on June 12, 2016, 11:12 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Markstone Backers Looking at 40% Loss on Their Investment” | By Michael Rochvarger | | Nov 20, 2014
      • Troubled private equity holdings valued at just $514 million after a decade of operation.

      [EXCERPT] The Markstone Capital Group, a private equity fund that has been buffeted by a series of bad investments and the untimely death of a founding partner, has so far generated losses of 40% for its investors, after a decade of operations.

      In its third-quarter report, released over the weekend, the fund valued its portfolio of companies at just $514 million, 30% less than the $735 million it raised when it got started 10 years ago. Adding in the estimated $80 million in management fees Markstone has collected over the years, the losses to its investors amount to 40%.

      However, the report also showed that the fund was finally steadying itself after a storm in the first half of 2014, when Amir Kess died in an auto accident and the bookstore chain Steimatzky — one of the fund’s key holdings — came close to collapse. Moti Weiss, formerly of the Viola Credit fund, came on board to help Markstone’s remaining partner, Ron Lubash, to manage the fund.

      The key to stabilizing Markstone was raising some $80 million in fresh capital from investors six months ago. That was less than the $95 million it was hoping to get: Many investors, especially on the Israeli side, objected to putting more money into the fund.

      In the end, however, Markstone’s foreign backers put in about $73 million. Realizing that they opened themselves up to further losses and possible loss suits, its Israeli investors — a group that includes the Clal, Menorah, Harel and Phoenix insurance companies as well as investment houses Meitav Dash and Poalim Capital Markets — added another $7 million to the kitty. . .


      P.P.S. FROM ~ Jan 28, 2016:

      ■ Failed Markstone fund divests last of its assets
      Markstone Capital, the failed private equity fund, sold off the last of its major assets this week, leaving its backers with losses of about 40% on the $735 million they put into the fund after it was formed in 2004.
      Markstone sold the jewelry retailer Magnolia to Ben Yehuda Jewelry, a Jerusalem company that has been one of its biggest suppliers. Ben Yehuda paid just a few million shekels for the chain, which Markstone bought in 2007 for $30 million, but agreed to take on debt of tens of millions of shekels more and to make a further payment if Magnolia’s operating performance improves in the next few years.
      The sale follows Markstone’s divesting its 23% stake in Psagot Investment House to the Apax Partners fund for 450 million shekels ($113 million). The proceeds of that sale will go to repaying banks and bondholders. (Michael Rochvarger)

      SOURCE –


  9. Ossinev on June 13, 2016, 9:45 am

    “When dick and jane figure out that their nation of three hundred million people is being led up the garden path by a minuscule bloodsucking insect”

    Be careful my friend you may be accused of anti – semitic insectment.

    • amigo on June 13, 2016, 3:28 pm

      “Be careful my friend you may be accused of anti – semitic insectment “0ssinev

      I thought of that but too late for the edit button and now it,s in my archives.

  10. James Canning on June 13, 2016, 1:22 pm

    Governor Cuomo apparently thinks oppressing the Palestinians is a good thing Israel does for the American people.

  11. klm90046 on June 13, 2016, 2:19 pm

    “We ‘R’ Toys and Toys ‘R’ Us” seems to carry more intellectual weight than Cuomo’s trope.

  12. Talkback on June 16, 2016, 11:47 am

    What Cuomo wants to say is that is antisemitic to question the infringement of freedom of speech.

Leave a Reply