As a right-wing government sets out to abolish the rule of law in Israel, and footage circulates of settlers waging deadly pogroms against Palestinians as soldiers stand by, the past weeks have been especially dispiriting for those holding out hope for justice and peace in the region. But keep the faith—a certain disgraced former governor of New York is now getting involved.
Responding to developments in the Holy Land as though summoned by bat signal, Andrew Cuomo rose from the couch where a friend is letting him crash, found a stretch of blank wall with some stark overhead lighting, and delivered a two-minute address on the need for non-Jewish public officials to support Israel, now more than ever. That's right: In his latest bid for relevance after being drummed out of office over sexual harassment and assault allegations, Cuomo is launching an organization called "Progressives for Israel."
"It's time for public officials to condemn antisemitism not just with their words, but with their actions," Cuomo said, employing the familiar hectoring, pedantic tone that endeared him to frightened, vulnerable people during the heights of the COVID pandemic. "You can't denounce antisemitism but waver on Israel's right to exist and defend itself."
Cuomo delivered a sort of spoken-word rendition of Cardinal Niemöller's "first they came for the Jews" statement, before launching into a reverie in which Cuomo's dead father is in heaven chatting with the recently deceased mother of Michael Jackson's favorite rabbi. "Tonight my father, the late great Mario Cuomo, is sitting with the great Eleanor Esther Elka Paul," Cuomo said. But what is Fantasy Dead in Heaven Mario Cuomo saying to Fantasy Rabbi Mom? "I will tell you what he is saying," Cuomo said. "He is saying, 'It is time for the shabbos goy.'" The shabbos goy, Ghost Mario tells Ghost Eleanor, "can do the work that benefits both the Jewish community and the non-Jewish community. The shabbos goy can turn on the lights on the Sabbath because it benefits everyone. It is time to turn on the lights."
Where is this imaginary lecture in heaven leading us? He's getting to it. "I am starting an organization called Progressives for Israel," Cuomo intoned. "I am going to call the question for Democrats. Do you stand with Israel or do you stand against Israel?"
May we all give this question, posed by a guy who while campaigning during Sukkot referred to a Jewish group as "these people and their fucking tree houses," the serious consideration that it deserves.
Here's some other "progressive" news to start your day:
- After years of delays, the MTA still hasn't ordered the train cars that actually fit through the tunnel to its new Grand Central Madison station, forcing it to limit its service schedule.
- And after more than a year, there still isn't a permanent head at the NYPD Office of the Inspector General, one of the City's main police watchdogs. The office's staff is down 50 percent, and it's not doing much.
- The City's Campaign Finance Board is holding a hearing today on accusations that Eric Adams's mayoral campaign accepted improper donations.
- People released under the state's revamped bail laws are less likely to be arrested over the next two years than people in similar situations held in jail before bail reform, a new study shows. The mayor, governor, police officials, state Republicans, and the New York Post masthead are expected to call press conferences today to reverse their opposition to bail reform in light of the new data.
- Some very cruel people at Insider allowed a tender NYU undergraduate to publish her musings on her semester abroad in Florence.
- If you're looking to buy or sell a boat but don't know how to go about it, a good place to start is by becoming a major donor to George Santos. He can help you out.
- With the coming bailout, Belmont Park could become the top racetrack in the country—in terms of killing horses.
- State legislators are floating the idea of making James Dolan actually pay taxes on Madison Square Garden.
- Queens Assemblymember Juan Ardila is apologizing after two women came forward with multiple allegations that Ardila had sexually assaulted them.
- And lastly, please welcome this visitor from Los Angeles: