On March 2, 2023, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander published on op-ed in Haaretz titled “America Can’t Keep Writing a Blank Check to Israel’s Authoritarian Government.” He had the gall to sign it: “Comptroller Brad Lander is the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in New York City government.”
While Lander might be the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in New York City, his decision to publish the op-ed while also targeting Yeshiva University implies that he is a “Jew in name only” who uses his “Jewishness” as cover for his progressive agenda, which includes undermining the world’s only Jewish state. All this while he continues his crusade again Yeshiva University and Orthodox Jews in New York City.
In Lander’s op-ed, he describes himself as “someone who cares deeply about Israeli democracy.” I think the only thing he deeply cares about is getting his outrageous comments into print to advance his far-left agenda and seek higher office. After all, why didn’t he say that he “deeply cares about the people and land of Israel”?
Lander goes on in his op-ed to advocate the two-state solution, saying, “Israel’s new government is intent on extending a regime that has long denied Palestinians living under occupation for over 50 years the benefits of democracy, self-determination or basic human rights.”
Has he been living under a rock for the last decade? Israel has made countless overtures to the Palestinian leadership in order to achieve a lasting peace. Every time, the Palestinian leadership has shown its true colors and refused.
Case in point: Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip in Sept. 2015 as an olive branch, a gesture towards peace to the Palestinian people. Within two years’ time, Hamas—a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization—took over and to this day has a firm grip on the Strip thanks to their overlords in Tehran.
Lander knows this but conveniently ignores it because it doesn’t fit his progressive agenda.
He then goes on to criticize the $4 billion in annual U.S. military aid to Israel. Perhaps Lander would rather give billions to UNRWA, the corrupt “Palestinian refugee” organization that brainwashes Palestinian children to murder Jews.
I firmly disagree with Lander’s Bernie Sanders-style statement. America is actively writing blank checks to Ukraine that we cannot cash without oversight, transparency and accountability, but Lander chooses to single out foreign aid to Israel for opprobrium. I’m willing to bet he has never criticized U.S. aid to Ukraine.
Has Lander ever called on Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas to end his “pay-for-slay” program that directly rewards Palestinian terrorists and their families with lifetime pensions for murdering Jews? Of course, he hasn’t. Why? Again, because it doesn’t fit his progressive agenda.
Has he ever called out Iran for the Israeli and Jewish blood on its hands? Or for the billions it sends in aid to Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and many other terror organizations?
Lander clearly penned his op-ed as a progressive, not as a Jew. He criticizes Israel while ignoring the atrocious human rights abuses and corruption of Palestinian leaders because he’s a progressive first, not a Jew first.
With Jews like Brad Lander, it’s no wonder that so many Jews and non-Jews don’t support the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in our ancestral homeland. They are brainwashed by false claims from “leaders” like Lander.
Shame on you, Brad, for spewing your progressive values under cover of your supposed “deep concern for Israeli democracy.” You’re not concerned about Israel’s future. You’re concerned about advancing your far-left progressive agenda here at home. It’s unforgivable.
Bryan E. Leib is the former executive director of Iranian Americans for Liberty and a former Republican congressional candidate. He currently serves as a board member of the Zionist Organization of America—Florida.