Ezra Friedlander, Biden, Bi-Partisanship, Building Bridges and the Jewish Community [Op-Ed]

Dear Reader:

The following is being posted in its entirety with permission of the author. It is a brilliant statement of our future, bipartisan unity and the importance of building bridges. The permission granted should in no way imply that Mr. Friedlander endorses this site. He very likely does not. His authorization speaks wholeheartedly to his efforts at building bridges; and for that this site is grateful. – LM

Bidding Biden Well: Being Bipartisan is Better for Our Community  
Op-Ed By: Ezra Friedlander
Download article in word format and photos here

       
Now that the election is behind us, the contentiousness and tension of the campaign and election seasons should too be left behind. It is of the upmost importance to share our perspectives on the conduct of the election and how to move forward.   

This should represent an opportunity to reckon with ourselves and our conduct throughout the campaign. Before anyone gets heated allow me to explain, we should recognize what is beneath the façade of militant identification to a candidate.   

In the aftermath of the 2020 Election, I feel a conversation with my fellow Jewish brethren is warranted. I would like to make clear: this is not in any way partisan nor meant to admonish anyone, rather to remind each other of the proper Jewish conduct in the general public, especially in the face of the most contentious Presidential election in our nation’s history.   

What is most troubling and worrisome is the potential long-term ramifications and the probable negative fallout this past campaign will take on the Jewish community.  

Allow me to elaborate; while engaging in the political process and the subsequent discourse regarding which candidate would be a better president is “as American as apple pie” and ought to be encouraged, there is a line that when crossed could negatively impact the welfare of our Jewish community today, and even more so in the future.   

Having the Jewish community engaged in political campaigns on both sides is beneficial. We all have a right, as individuals, to our political viewpoints, and to engage with them. In fact, we should be encouraged to do so.    However, what I and many of us witnessed this past year was cult-like behavior. The cult-like behavior expressed itself in messianic terms, framing the candidate in idolatrous proportions, clouding our judgment in evaluating the candidate and his policies and inhibiting his followers from practically assessing the opponent.   

This behavior is an amateur manifestation of how to engage in the political process, it doesn’t bring support to your candidate, it actually diminishes the importance of the election and why you should support that candidate in the first place. More compelling to us, it exudes unwanted attention to our community.  

Yes, unwanted attention is a negative byproduct of such idolatry-politics.   

While others may counter my argument saying that this is simply how the campaign in the general public was run, that should never be an excuse for Jews; for better or for worse we are held to different standards.    
Another negative aspect I’ve witnessed is the denigration of the opposing candidate to the extent that it can cause lasting damage to building relationships.   

In this age when media can be transmitted to literally millions of people instantaneously, the imagery coming out of our community in the months leading up to the election was reminiscent of demagoguery. This persisted to the point where the image of our community being led by and consisting of active proponents of such idolatry became widespread. This portrayal is diametrically opposed to our values and how our community actually behaves.   

Granted, it is only a few, but because of our distinct dress and behavior this is easily manipulated by those who don’t share our interests and who seek to negatively portray us. If not addressed thus could become more widespread within our community.   

As someone who is in constant interaction with the secular world at large, I can tell you that the noise our community created pertaining to the election was nothing short of the complete opposite of what our community should portray itself as and the complete opposite of what our community has historically portrayed itself as.   

Especially as someone in the government and public relations fields, I can tell you with absolute confidence this is detrimental to our community’s security and political influence.  

I know the prevailing argument in the street is “so what who cares?”, but honestly (I reiterate this 1000000 times) only by building bridges, by establishing relationships with and engaging others, especially those with different viewpoints, can a minority community like ours survive. By staying in our little cocoon, we will never be able to achieve the results we so desperately need.   

Now that Joe Biden is the acknowledged President-Elect, we as Jews have a moral obligation, to pray for his success as we did for our outgoing President, Donald Trump. This is the Jewish way.  

Even if you did not vote for Joe Biden and wished for him to lose, understand that you and your community’s survival and success is dependent on the nuance of our political maneuvering and the democratic process.   

I firmly believe it is in the interest of our community to promulgate bipartisanship; the existence of our community is contingent on bipartisanship. A pertinent example: President Trump’s commutation of the unjust and outrageous sentence of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. People did not realize that there was an inconspicuous effort to secure the support of prominent Democrats to support the commutation, including the liberal icon then House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  

This show of bipartisan unity was not only a vital piece in securing Rubashkin’s commutation, but in fact was even highlighted by the Trump White House. Even in an additional case, the Nachmani case (another travesty of justice), it was Democrats who at direct request of the White House threw their support behind commuting her sentence.   

I am not trying to diminish President Trump’s role in these commutations, in fact he deserves the lion’s-share of the credit and then some, rather I am trying to emphasize that it is behind these casual observances of bipartisanship that amazing feats of politics are achieved. It is the best strategic move to maintain a foothold in both parties. We must cross the aisle continuously.  

In no way am I saying that I do not want anyone to criticize the incoming Biden administration. We must criticize the President when he makes a mistake, whomever he may be. It is vital to the democratic process, but the matter in which we do it makes all the difference.   

Today’s allies are tomorrow’s adversaries, and today’s adversaries are tomorrow’s allies.  

It may seem like we are in one camp today, but this could all turn on a dime, hence the critical need to understand that as American society changes — and it perpetually does– we as members of the Jewish community must acknowledge this and pursue policies and behaviors that reflect this.   

We all hope that the next four years will be productive and bring us and the whole nation progress, growth, and unity. We pray that the President should receive divine inspiration to govern correctly and efficiently and do the best for America and our community.   

Ezra Friedlander is CEO of the Friedlander Group, a New York City and Washington D.C. based public policy consulting group.
www.thefriedlandergroup.com    
www.thefriedlandergroup.com

ALSO FOUND AT:

Op-Ed: Bidding Biden Well: Being Bipartisan is Better for Our Community

A 2014 Succoth Celebration – A Delightful Event – a Dead Giveaway on Political Alliances

 

http://www.thefriedlandergroup.com/sukkoth-celebration-2014.14-1315.sub.html

NYC’s Top Elected Officials Grace Sukkoth Celebration

What do

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

NYC Public Advocate Tish James

Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson

Assemblyman Dov Hikind

City Councilman Brad Lander

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte

Assemblyman David Weprin
have in common?

They all gathered in the Sukkoh of Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group to wish prominent members of the Jewish community a “Chag Sameach”.

In attendance was also: Rabbi David Zwiebel, Executive VP Agudath Israel of America

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive VP, NY Board of Rabbis

Rabbi Steve Burg, East Coast Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center and Rabbi Michael Miller, executive VP of the Jewish Community Relations Council who delivered greetings to the assembled.

Friedlander and Nadler, More to Come

Two “Rashaim” Friedlander & Nadler … learning “Hilchos Krias Shma”

Ezra Friedlander, the Jew “Capo” with his buddy Rep Jerry Nadler
On the return trip from NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-innauguration on Ellis Island, Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) explained the Talmudic reasoning behind the timing of Krias Shema Shel Shachris, to his Tuchis-Lekker back stabbing buddy Ezra “Ill Stab Any Jew In The Back” Friedlander!
Nadler is the incoming chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and has promised to investigate possible ties between the Trump administration and Russia.
Jerry Nadler was the only Jewish Democrat from New York that voted for the Iran deal.
At the time, Nadler released the following lying statement to his Holocaust Survivors
constituents. Ezra then went to justify this criminal vote to the naive Boro-Parkers…
“I bring to my analysis the full weight of my responsibilities as a member of Congress, and my perspective as an American Jew who is both a Democrat and a strong supporter of Israel,” Nadler said in a statement. He said that the agreement “gives us the best chance of stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”
Now he is explaining Mesechta Brachos.