A Cuomo Campaigns Against Justice in Israel & the U.S.

(Former NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo on his Podcast, stating that the prosecutor in Alec Baldwin’s case was motivated by politics and a quest for fame. Cuomo has also attacked the NYS Attorney General’s Sexual Harassment findings against him, and the Manhattan DA’s case against Donald Trump as politically motivated. He has also recently sided with BiBi Netanyahu in his attempt to cripple Israel’s Judiciary, and supports the extreme Right Wing government of Israel which has brought the country to the brink of Civil War.)

Andrew Cuomo continues to search for new ways to disgrace himself.

Earlier this month, he announced he was forming a group to support the Fundamentalist government of Israel, at the very time his old friend, BiBi Netanyahu, was pushing to strip the Israeli Judiciary of it’s power (BiBi is under investigation for bribery and other crimes).  Tone deaf to the legitimate voices of deep concern in Israel and the United States about Israel’s ability to stay away from becoming a complete theocratic and autocratic state—like many of its’ Arab neighbors– Cuomo has chosen to side with the bullying Bibi, whose alleged crimes of corruption make Spiro Agnew look like a harmless hub-cap thief. 

Cuomo has chosen to demonstrate his incredibly poor judgment toward the most extremist  government in Israel’s 75 year history at the very time hundreds of thousands of Israeli  Jews are demonstrating in the streets of Tel Aviv, against the suspension of human and civil rights in the country for which they have fought and bled.  In fact, large numbers of members of Israel’s armed forces, are refusing to support Bibi’s anti-democratic dictates, causing the Israeli Defense minister, Yoav Gallant, to demand that Netanyahu stop moving to undermine the judicial system, since his actions are harming the pivotal Mid-East country’s national defense.

Defense Minister Gallant said in a televised speech in Israel:  “ The rift within our society is widening and penetrating the Israel Defense Forces.  The schisms have caused a clear and immediate and tangible danger to the security of the state.”

Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Gallant, and removed him from his Cabinet on Sunday, March 26th, setting off massive civil unrest throughout the country.

But all that seems to matter to Andrew Cuomo anymore is desperately clinging on to what he sees as the shards of his shattered political career. 

Otherwise, he’d be dismayed by Netanyahu’s dictatorial actions, and the growing Apartheid movement in Israel, where top-ranking extreme Right Wing government officials have declared that “Palestinians are non-existent.”  That’s the same pre-genocidal language used by Hitler in Mein Kampf against the Jews,  that threatens Jew-on-Jew violence, according to Israel’s own President, Isaac Herzog.

Hundreds of thousands of Conservative and Reform Jews across the United States—and our Congregations– are reassessing our life-long support of Israel, since it has fallen from being a democratic hope in a global region of autocracy—a commitment to democracy, inclusion and human rights made to the United Nations and the United States at Israel’s founding 75 years ago—into a dark pit of fascism and totalitarianism against it’s own Israeli-born Arabs, Palestinians, women, the LGBTQ community, the rule of law,  and progressive Jews in Israel and worldwide.

 By siding with Bibi and the theocratic extremists now in charge of Israel, Andrew Cuomo has abandoned most American Jews, and the fundamental principles of universal human rights, which Israel pledged to uphold in its founding charter.  His father, Mario Cuomo, an admirer of Shimon Peres, and one of the most enlightened American political leaders of our time, would be appalled over his son’s abandonment of support for the rule of law in Israel and the United States.

I had the honor of working with Mario Cuomo, and of meeting both Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in Israel in 1992, three years before Rabin was assassinated by the very same extreme Right Wing fanatics—followers of the racist and convicted terrorist Rabbi Meir Kahane—who have now seized power in Israel.  Tragically, those are the kind of totalitarians Andrew Cuomo has thrown his support behind. 

But Andrews’s attacks on the rule of law, for purely political purposes, aren’t limited to Israel.  They’ve expanded to include his own perceived political enemies in this country—prosecutors; a target of Cuomo-as-victim, since a prosecutorial investigation by NYS’ Attorney General Tish James uncovered damaging findings about Cuomo’s behavior as Governor, in the areas of sexual harassment and abuse. 

 This week, as Trump whipped up his White Supremacist wackos in Waco, Texas, in attacks on Manhattan’s Black District Attorney, Andrew Cuomo was hustling for headlines again, maligning Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s Grand Jury investigation into Trump’s crimes as  “political”–on the day after Bragg got a Trump-inspired death threat.  Great timing, Andrew. 

Mario Cuomo’s mantra and his great integrity, which attracted many of us who worked with him to work with him, and which we respected greatly , was “The law is the law.”  It was a standard he lived by, and a legal and moral value he applied uniformly.

 Unfortunately, his oldest son—a lawyer, and one-time Attorney General of New York State—has twisted his father’s teachings into being:   “the law is whatever the leader says it is, and everyone else should hold the leader’s coat,” consistent with the actions of Bibi Netanyahu , Donald Trump, and Andrew Cuomo himself.

This cheapened version of a Cuomo just can’t let go of the fact that the NYS AG–a post he once held when he crafted strong anti-sexual harassment laws–investigated the credible sexual harassment complaints against him by 12 women, whose rights the State Attorney General is sworn to protect.  The fact that there was credible evidence against Governor Andrew Cuomo is why Cuomo is no longer Governor. He alone is responsible for wrecking his own public service career.

 Cuomo, like the other self-professed “victims” Bibi Netanyahu and Donald Trump whom he is abandoning his upright upbringing to defend,  refuses to accept responsibility for any of his actions.  He blames the women who filed sexual harassment complaints against him; the prosecutors & investigators; the media; and, even “wokeness”—a nonsensical fiction championed by Trump, Ron DeSantis, and other Far-Right extremists;  Christian Nationalists who trample on Jewish teaching that life begins at birth;  White Supremacists opposed to teaching about slavery and US racial history; and other anti-government troglodytes hell-bent against law enforcement—like the January 6th insurrectionists, and the last criminal cult from Waco, 30 years ago. 

Cuomo even once had the audacity to blame his sexualized, groping actions on his Italian heritage, until many of us in the Italian-American community demanded that he stop spreading ethnic slurs about us, and man-up for his own individual unacceptable behavior.

 Sadly, Andrew Cuomo cannot control his craven craving for public attention or to stay relevant.  With $10 million of campaign contributions in the bank, and a wealth of skills, talent and media access, there are dozens of ways and urgent issues on which Andrew Cuomo can make the world better, and increase his relevancy.

 He can fight to protect Women’s Reproductive Freedom; lead the effort to make voting rights 100% universal; be a powerful voice on behalf of the LGBTQ community and protecting the human rights of Trans people; battle against the unconstitutional banning of books, and the fundamental right of parents to have our children and grandchildren learn a complete, uncensored history of the United States, and the responsibilities of citizenship. He can continue the good work he started nearly 40 years ago on homelessness, or focus on growing food insecurity.   Instead, he wallows in playing the victim, and bellows his blubbering whines in a blustery voice, just like Bibi and Trump. 

 It’s an enormous tragedy that a human being like Andrew Cuomo, with so many gifts and blessings, has forgotten the sound lessons his father taught him, as well as the oft-repeated advice of Mario Cuomo’s spiritual muse, Teilhard de Chardin:  “All that is necessary to achieve happiness in this life is to be part of something bigger than oneself.”

White Supremacists, Goddamn; Find Another Country To Be Part Of…

Nearly 60 years ago, two Civil Rights activists–singer and songwriter Phil Ochs, and classically trained singer, composer and pianist Nina Simone–wrote and performed two of the most powerful songs of that period: Och’s “Here’s To The State of Mississippi”, and Simone’s “Mississippi, Goddamn.”

 Ochs, a white folk-singer and activist from Far Rockaway, NY, volunteered for the Mississippi Caravan of Music in conjunction with Freedom Summer of 1964, the campaign to register Black Voters in Mississippi. During that summer, three civil rights workers — James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were beaten and shot to death by local Mississippi police officers working in kahoots with the KKK.

 Ochs was so outraged by their murders and decades of butchering of Blacks in Mississippi by White Supremacists, that one of his most controversial lyrics still stings us today:  “Mississippi Find Yourself Another Country To Be Part Of.”

 The unrelenting violent attacks against Black communities and children as young as the four, 14-year old Black girls blown to bits in the September, 1963, Sunday-school bombing at Birmingham, Alabama’s 16th Street Baptist church, coupled with the assassination of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers in the driveway of his home in Jackson, Mississippi, pushed many performers—like Ochs and Nina Simone—to sharpen their music into tools for justice and Civil Rights.

Simone, an international sensation across several musical genres, born into a poor, North Carolina Black family, told PBS that her historic protest song “Mississippi, Goddamn,” simply “erupted” out of her in under an hour, in 1964.  Her lyrics quickly became a Civil Rights anthem, and many Southern States banned her and her music:

“Alabama’s gotten me so upset

Tennessee made me lose my rest

And Everybody knows about Mississippi, Goddamn.”

Simone told the Black Journal, “an artist’s duty is to reflect the times.  That to me is my duty.  And, at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate—when everyday is a matter of survival—I don’t think you can help but be involved.”

While Nina Simone came right at racists with everything she had, Ochs switched the narrative on the KKK, White Supremacists, and public officials who claimed that America could only be great as a White man’s country

 In fact, in Mississippi’s Secession Document of 1861, when it joined the Confederacy and declared war upon the United States Government, its’ governing beliefs were stated clearly: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world.”  The Mississippi of the 1960’s, it seemed, was still stuck in a 100 year old time warp.

Among the fiercest fighters to save the Union, after their emancipation in 1863, were freed Black slaves.   They believed, with a religious fervor, that “all men were created equal,” and battled brilliantly to protect their right to live free in America, where their families were born, and their ancestors buried.  That was the kind of country they wanted.

So, Ochs expertly flipped the story, and sang about expelling the White Supremacists, whose acts of hate and racial murder were crimes against the US, and humanity.   The illegal, bloody, armed insurrection against the United States Government was crushed—at the cost of Americans killing Americans by the hundreds of thousands– and the Confederacy’s dream of an all-White country with an enslaved Black population was dumped on history’s trash heap.

The leaders of the first failed coup to overturn democracy in the US were only saved from execution for treason by blanket pardons granted by the Tennessee Segregationist Andrew Johnson.   Now, 100 years later, Phil Ochs was offering an alternative to the White Supremacists: You want to secede?  Go!  We want you out of this Democracy, which you tried to destroy.

Earlier this month, in March, 2023, multiple national news outlets reported the beheading and dismembering of Rasheem Carter, a 20-year old Black man in Mississippi, who went missing last year. When his brutalized body was found, the local Sheriff’s Department said that “no foul play” was involved in Carter’s death—sounding as callous about Black lives as Mississippi public officials of 60 years ago. If Phil Ochs, or Nina Simone, were writing their songs of outrage today, their words would spare no one.  This adaptation of “Here’s to the State of Mississippi,” has meaning well beyond one State’s borders:

Here’s to the state of racist child killers,

For underneath their faces, the devil draws no lines,

If you drag their muddy mem’ries, nameless bodies you will find.

Whoa, the corridors of power have hid a thousand crimes,

The calendar is lyin’ if it reads the present time.

Whoa, here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of,

White Supremacists find another country to be part of.

And here’s to the mouthpieces of racist child killers,

Who say that folks with conscience, they just don’t understand,

As they tremble in the shadow of MAGA Nazis and the Klan.

The sweating of their souls can’t wash the blood from off their hands,

They smile and shrug their shoulders at the dying of a child;

Oh, here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of,

White Supremacists find another country to be part of.

And here’s to the homes of racist child killers

Where they’re teaching all their children that they don’t have to care.

All the rudiments of hatred are present everywhere,

And every single family is a factory of despair;

There’s nobody learning such a foreign word as fair.

Oh, here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of,

White Supremacists find another country to be part of.

And here’s to the Christian schools grooming Black child killers;

Their books don’t mention slavery, or race, or crimes of hate.

To rule the pure White world, was their Jesus-given fate.

The massacres of Wilmington and Greenwood, never did take place;

How could they if there’s no such thing as crimes against a race?

Oh, here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of,

White Supremacists find another country to be part of.

And here’s to the apologists of all these racist killers;

Who cover up their hearts as they crawl into the courts,

They’re guarding all the bastions of their phony legal forts;

Oh, justice is a stranger if it’s non-whites who report,

When the Black man is accused, the trial is always short.

Oh, here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of,

Mississippi, Goddamn, find another country to be part of.

And here’s to bogus governments of racist killers;

In the swamp that they created, they’re always bogging down,

And criminals are smirking as they hold Black babies down;

And they hope that no one sees the sights, and no one hears the sounds,

And the speeches of their leaders are the rants of evil clowns.

Oh, here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of,

White Supremacists find another country to be part of.

Jack Smith & The Blacksmiths.

Special Counsel Jack Smith, and the prosecutorial blacksmiths–Alvin Bragg, Tish James, and FaniWillis, have forged an evidentiary chain of steel around Donald Trump…and he knows it. Which is why hes using his tested trope of squealing racism so loudly. He knows hes facing jail.)

Jack Smith & the Blacksmiths

Are driving Trump beserk.

An Irish cop and 3 Black prosecutors,

Hammering handcuffs for the Jerk.

Alvin Bragg, Tish James,

Fani Get Your Gun;

Trump is a goner,

Lifelong crime spree, DONE.

Hush Money for Stormy,

Tax & Insurance fraud galore;

Georgia’s got the tapes on Don,

Begging for 11, 800 “Voates”, or more.

Jack Smith & the Blacksmiths,

Zeroing in on January Sixth,

Conspiracy, Sedition & the sins of Iago,

Flushing top secrets down the bowels of Mar-A-Lago.

Jack Smith, Blacksmiths, forging chains of steel;

Justice grinding the grifter under its relentless wheel.

Lies stacked on lies, abuse on abuse;

No place to hide, no whining Trump excuse.

Witnesses, evidence, indictments all to come;

Pay no attention to his hysterical screaming–

Convict and incarcerate

The flatulent, racist bum.

Jack Smith & the Blacksmiths,

Building an airtight, iron cell;

For his crimes against Democracy,

Let Trump burn in Dante’s darkest circle of hell.