Mike, You Did Us Proud

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Tonight at the Marriott Marquis Times Square, Mayor Michael Bloomberg did us proud. The mayor of New York, Bloomberg recently showed his character by traveling to Israel while that nation was suffering much international condemnation for self-defense. In doing so, he continued a New York City mayoral tradition, for the great Rudy Giuliani showed similar character in traveling to Israel at the height of Palestinian suicide bombing attacks, insisting upon riding Jerusalem city buses in a remarkable show of solidarity.

This evening was the Northeast Regional Dinner for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the lobbying organization that represents the interests of Americans who support a strong bond between the U.S. and Israel.

Bloomberg spoke of his recent trip to Israel, specifically the cities of Ashkelon and Sderot, where an entire population lives in fear of rocket attacks.

He recalled President Obama’s statement of support for Israel’s self-defense during the campaign, when then-Senator Obama visted Sderot.

“At that time, President Obama said if it was his daughters, he would do the same to protect them,” Bloomberg said tonight. “If Americans faced that kind of nightmarish danger, the demand for action would be overwhelming and completely justified.”

He issued a call for solidarity in support of our democratic ally in days ahead, saying, “The road ahead is not going to be easy,” and adding, “When you help Israel, you are helping America and New York City and freedom-loving people everywhere.”

Outside the event, which was attended by 1400, a few scraggly-haired protestors formed a human ring, holding onto something resembling an inner tube, rolling around on the ground, and screaming at the attendees as we walked in. They shouted a few epithets and then settled on, “Free Palestine!” and “End the occupation!” (Hearing these or any protestors shout about the ‘occupation’ in the context of Israel’s Gaza incursion always makes me wonder if these folks realize Israel no longer occupies Gaza, and therefore has more ability under international law to counterattack when attacked. In other words, I wonder if these people realize that, should Israel cease to ‘occupy’ the West Bank while Palestinians are still planning attacks, Israel would have greater power to crush those hostile forces. In other words, those who clamor for an end to ‘occupation’ while continuing to advocate violence should be careful what they wish for).

Anyway, it was quite something to see these anti-Israel demonstrators being guarded by the NYPD,  shouting down the people attending this dinner in the heart of one of the the most pro-Israel cities, with one of the most pro-Israel mayors, in the most pro-Israel county (other than Israel!) in the world. As the saying goes, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” especially if they aren’t true. Just as long as they don’t try blowing anything up, flying planes into buildings, shooting, stabbing, etc., then…well, Let Freedom Ring!

This entry was written by and posted on January 30, 2009 at 2:22 am and filed under Blog.