‘Silence is not an option.’ At least in some cases.
Former governor Andrew Cuomo may not be one of the Chosen, but that’s not stopping him from giving the State of Israel a big wet kiss. The New York Democrat on Monday announced he is spearheading a group called Progressives for Israel. “It’s time for our officials to condemn anti-Semitism not just with their words, but with their actions,” said Cuomo in a video shared by a Jewish Insider reporter. And though the legendary politician has yet to specify what needs to be done, those familiar with his tactics expect his actions to be swift, firm, and perhaps unexpected.
“You can’t denounce anti-Semitism but waver on Israel’s right to exist and defend itself,” said Cuomo, who stepped down from office in 2021 to spend more time with his family. He then urged progressives to take a more hands-on approach: “It is time to turn on the lights. … And I’m going to call the question for Democrats. Do you stand with Israel or do you stand against Israel, because silence is not an option?”—at least with regard to the Jewish state.
The ex-governor is clearly tired of progressives groping for answers to the Israel question. And now he is going to effectively stiff them. By contrast, Cuomo has never shrunk in the face of anti-Semitism. And when it comes to a crisis, there’s probably no other politician who can do a better job of identifying the source of tension and massaging that tension until it is relieved.
Israeli officials have yet to comment on this new initiative, though it seems to have rubbed some the wrong way. Critics say the ex-governor’s presence is both unhelpful and unwanted. But unwanted advances will not stop Andrew Cuomo, at least when it comes to wrapping his arms around Israel in a loving hug. And those progressives who resist him may very well find out the hard way that he means business. When it comes to Israel.