The New York Democratic Party has sent out a campaign mailer arguing that Jewish voters “can’t take a chance” on Cynthia Nixon, a progressive candidate challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo in Thursday’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, because she can’t be trusted to stand up to anti-Semitism.
“With anti-Semitism and bigotry on the rise,” Jews shouldn’t back “inexperienced Cynthia Nixon, who won’t stand strong for our Jewish communities,” the mailer says.
The New York State Democratic Committee, as the state party is known, supports Cuomo’s bid for a third term. But the committee’s executive director disavowed the mailer following a backlash against it, including by some Jewish leaders.
The party mailer lists alleged stances Nixon has taken against the interests of the Jewish community. Nixon, the state party alleges, is “against funding yeshivas;” supportive of BDS ― the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel; and “silent on the rise of anti-Semitism.”
Progressive Jewish leaders condemned the literature after it surfaced on Saturday.
“How dare you, [New York State Democratic Committee]?!,” tweeted New York City Councilman Brad Lander, a Nixon supporter. “Smearing [Cynthia Nixon] (whose kids are being raised Jewish, BTW) as soft on anti-Semitism & lying about her position on Israel in order to fearmonger and shill for votes is a shameful dead-end for our party.”
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum ― who leads Beit Simchat Torah, where Nixon is a member ― and Kleinbaum’s wife, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, whose state affiliate endorsed Cuomo, wrote a joint Facebook post blasting the mailer.
“Cynthia is no anti Semite. It’s a baseless lie,” Kleinbaum and Weingarten wrote. “Further, speaking as lifelong democrats, this is not who our party is — using divisive and baseless smears to divide people and promote fear.”
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