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January 22, 2014 2:19 pm

Jewish Organizations Must Condemn Governor Cuomo’s Extremism

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Celebrate Israel Parade. Photo: SF Sentinel.

Imagine a right-wing politician who proclaimed that left-wingers who are “pro-gay, pro-abortion, and anti-self defense” have no place in their state.

Can anyone doubt that Jewish leaders would condemn the statement and speak out loudly about “intolerance,” and the need for diversity. Wouldn’t they issue press releases and more? If such a politician would make a statement, pressure would mount for his resignation and undoubtedly it’d make for a lot of media attention.

Yet, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s assertions that conservative New Yorkers don’t belong in the State because “that’s not what New Yorkers are” have largely been ignored. Cuomo continued, “Right-to-life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay — if that’s who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

It is a testament to blatant double standards that not one Jewish organization has condemned this hateful speech.

These intolerant and offensive statements should be condemned – especially as many ultra-Orthodox Jews would object to certain aspects of Cuomo’s beliefs.

Are these Jews – and conservatives of all stripes – being told that they must leave New York State?  How dare he.

None other than the great President Ronald Reagan said: “The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance, freedom and open-mindedness. Question: Isn’t the real truth that they are intolerant of religion? They refuse to tolerate its importance in our lives.”

Cuomo’s statements are offensive to so many people – for so many different reasons. Wherever one stands on the political map, they should condemn this intolerance. Tolerance must come in all sizes and shapes – and applies to all political strains.

Liberals must also be tolerant of those whom they don’t agree with – and Jewish civil rights organizations must speak up on these issues, not only on issues in which they oppose conservatives.

To quote Reagan again, “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.“ Last I checked, Andrew Cuomo wasn’t the divine ruler of New York State – and his offensive speech must be condemned by decent people of all religious beliefs.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, and author.

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