We were surprised and disappointed to read the May 7, 2018 letter from Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld attacking North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan as not being a “common-sense Democrat.”
During her six years on the North Hempstead Town Board, we have always found Anna to have a great deal of “common sense,” which is one of many reasons why we are so glad she has agreed to run against Republican Elaine Phillips for state senator in New York’s 7th District.
On reading further, it became apparent that Anna’s purported lack of common sense was not Mr. Wiesenfeld actual concern, but instead his letter was an attempt to relitigate Councilwoman Kaplan’s more than two-year-old letter criticizing then-candidate Donald Trump’s speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s 2016 Policy Conference. Mr. Wiesenfeld is, of course, entitled to his own opinion, but we would point out that Anna’s criticisms and concerns about candidate Trump were shared by many Republicans at the time and that AIPAC’s own leaders were forced to make an unprecedented apology for both Trump’s disrespect for the President of the United States and “that so many people applauded the sentiment that we neither agree with or condone.”
It appears that what Mr. Wiesenfeld was really seeking to do was to smear Kaplan as insufficiently pro-Israel — an absurd charge to lodge against a former Jewish child refugee whose own parents first found refuge in Israel following Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
Attempts by Republicans to remake support for Israel into an exclusively Republican issue rather than one that has enjoyed historic bipartisan support across U.S. politics are cynical and shortsighted and have been repeatedly condemned by leading Israel advocacy groups. As AIPAC itself notes in a recent YouTube video: “Bipartisanship is the only way to effect policies that keep Israel safe, no matter which party is in control.”
For the sake of accuracy, Councilwoman Kaplan was an early and outspoken critic of the Iran Nuclear Deal and she convinced many of her fellow Democratic elected officials to join her in a letter urging Long Island’s Congressional delegation to oppose the deal.
Following adoption of the nuclear deal, Kaplan co-authored an article supporting bipartisan Congressional legislation to ensure full Iranian compliance.
She was also instrumental in convincing her fellow North Hempstead town board members to unanimously pass legislation preventing the Town from conducting business with companies that boycott Israel.
As a candidate for state senator, Councilwoman Kaplan’s platform includes “Increasing New York’s Cooperation with Israel” as one of her primary issues.
We are strong supporters of the State of Israel and we urge fellow supporters of Israel to join us in supporting Anna Kaplan to be our next New York State Senator.
Toby Katz, Manhasset
Sandra and Jack Yousefzadeh, Great Neck
Nancy Bader, Great Neck