NY Governor Andrew Cuomo condemns mailer claiming opponent supports BDS
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NY Governor Andrew Cuomo condemns mailer claiming opponent supports BDS

Message says Cynthia Nixon, who is raising two Jewish children, is ‘against funding for yeshivas,’ has been ‘silent on the rise of anti-Semitism’

Cynthia Nixon speaking in New York City, January 29, 2018. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images via JTA)
Cynthia Nixon speaking in New York City, January 29, 2018. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images via JTA)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office distanced itself from a mailer sent by the state’s Democratic Party accusing his opponent Cynthia Nixon of supporting the BDS movement and being silent on the rise of anti-Semitism.

Nixon, who is gay and is raising two Jewish children — she attends Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, an LGBT synagogue — announced her bid for the Democratic nomination for New York governor in March. She faces incumbent Cuomo in the September 13 primary.

“With anti-Semitism and bigotry on the rise, we can’t take a chance with inexperienced Cynthia Nixon, who won’t stand strong for our Jewish communities,” the mailer said. It also states that Nixon is “against funding for yeshivas,” supports “BDS, the racist, xenophobic campaign to boycott Israel” and has been “silent on the rise of anti-Semitism.”

The mailer says it was paid for by the New York State Democratic Committee.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a healthcare union rally at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, February 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images/via JTA)

Cuomo campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith tweeted: “Governor Cuomo didn’t approve of or have any knowledge of the mailer in question. He disagrees with the language in it, believes it is inappropriate, and urges voters to focus on the real issues in this race.”

Nixon has not publicly commented on the mailer.

Sharon Kleinbaum, spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, and the rabbi’s wife, teacher labor union leader Randi Weingarten, defended Nixon and condemned the mailer in a statement posted on Facebook, calling the mailer “beyond the pale.”

“For many reasons, we have both maintained our neutrality in the primary between Governor Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon. We know them both well, and Sharon is Cynthia’s Rabbi,” the statement said. “Cynthia is no anti Semite. It’s a baseless lie.”

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