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.”

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