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JV Editorial

Letters to the Editor



Rallies and the Rise of Anti-Semitism

Dear Editor:

The small-to-moderate size rallies currently demonstrating the frustration of Jews of conscience over the rise of anti-Semitism in the US, including those in which I have participated, is heartening, but ultimately of little practical effect.

Absent a major and coordinated national response by organized Jewry, it can be said that the “golden age” of American Jewry has peaked and will decline. While right-wing neo-Nazi assailants must be outed and fought, it is the mainly politically liberal orientation of organized Jewry which prohibits them from recognizing and acting against the real threat to support for Israel and American Jewry: the leftist-Islamist alliance.

That alliance is poisoning all academic environments, promoting BDS and delegitimization, destroying support for Israel with false charges amongst academic elites and thus the next generation–and now electing leftist and Islamist extremists into all levels of government. This narrative is not what organized Jewry prefers to discuss. Yes, the neo-Nazis must be smashed–but they are not the threat to the presence of Jews in America, nor can they threaten Israel. First and foremost, the leftist-Islamist alliance’s design is the destruction of Israel.


Jeff Wiesenfeld


Shame on Candidates for Boycotting AIPAC

Dear Editor:

You can judge a person’s character by the company they keep. The following Democratic Party 2020 Presidential Primary candidates did not attend the recent American Israel Public Affairs Committee Washington DC Conference. There was no excuse as the event was scheduled many months earlier. This dishonor role included Senators Corey Booker (New Jersey), Bernie Sanders (Vermont), Kamala Harris (California), Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), former Congressmember Beto O’Rourke (Texas), John Delaney (Maryland), Governor Jay Insle (Washington), former Governor John Hickenloop (Colorado), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, Indiana), and former San Antonio Mayor/Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs Julian Castro were nowhere to be found. Several hid in the comfort of their Capital Hill Offices to hold meetings with AIPAC representatives away from any media coverage.

Contrast this with the fact that most found the time to attend and speak at the Reverand Al Sharpton’s Annual National Action Network Conference held this past week in Manhattan. This list included Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Pete Buttigieg, John Hickenlooper, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. Those who could not find the time to publicly attend the AIPAC Washington conference yet found the time to hold hands and kiss the ring of Al Sharpton looking for his political blessing are not kosher when it comes to being a true friend of Israel. They do not deserve either your vote or campaign contribution.


Larry Penner


Disagrees with Cuomo on MTA Ineptness

Dear Editor,

I was a little irked by the governor’s comments and attitude from your article “Cuomo Slams MTA for Ineptness at Association for a Better New York Luncheon.”

“Vendors are installing technology they designed in the ’80s. I believe there is better technology out there,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “If you can figure out how a car can fly and you can get in a car that drives you by itself to Southampton, you have to be able to have technology where one train can tell you where the other train is on a closed system.”

He’s talking like a true politician. His words mean nothing, and he may not know what he’s talking about. It’s really convenient to be in a position where you can just wish for things that are untenable or don’t exist yet, especially coming from the guy who says he is not in control of the MTA, until he declares an emergency and then does as he pleases while skirting any and all responsibility for the everyday problems of New Yorkers.

The newer technology is on PATH trains now. The railroad was required to meet the PTC mandate. The subway system actually has CBTC on the L train Canarsie line and is working out the kinks on the newly installed CBTC technology on the 7 train Flushing line. The technology, paired with experienced subway operators and dispatchers, could allow lines to operate over 30 trains an hour, which would mean waiting less than two minutes for a train and still having a safer ride. With more train frequency, there is also less dangerous crowding on platforms and fewer delays from dwell time.

Even though this technology is promising, the agency has dragged its feet. The technology would really help the system, as would continuously expanding it. I don’t know what the governor is talking about when he says better technology exists. He ought to let the agency do its work without impugning the character and integrity of so many MTA employees.


Lisa Friedman


The Future of Ride-Share Companies

Dear Editor,

I read your article “Carl Icahn Sold his Stake in Lyft to George Soros Before its IPO” and still wonder how these ride-share companies are even supposed to make money. And this is before we even get into the environmental disaster that these extra vehicles are causing.

Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green rang the Nasdaq opening bell remotely on Friday from a downtown Los Angeles warehouse in a ceremony attended by Lyft drivers, employees and their families, and the stock went up and down since.

Meanwhile, Icahn didn’t give a reason for his sale of his Lyft stake but was reportedly unhappy that Zimmer and Green were given super-voting shares that gave them outsized voting power at the company.

In any case, I still am curious to see how companies like Lyft and Uber progress from here. I wouldn’t expect the standardization of autonomous vehicles anytime soon, and investors had already been helping these companies make the rides their workers provide artificially cheap. As it is, I’ve wondered where people are getting this money to afford paying for these car services when a subway or bus ride costs $2.75 and a bike ride is virtually free. What happens if Lyft has to start charging significantly more?

These vehicles are not the way of the future in cities anyway. Buses and trains can move thousands of passengers at rates far more efficient than vehicles that often have one or two occupants. All of the space taken up by these vehicles adds up quickly, as do the toxic emissions that are harmful to the environment, life, and contribute to climate change.

If only our country had the same enthusiasm about walking, biking, skating, and riding buses and trains as it did for cars, then maybe we would be able to create a more just society where getting around is cheap, sustainable, and brings together the community.


Amber Rasey

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