Cynthia Nixon condemns Cuomo over mailer

On BDS, Nixon says she’s not a supporter but supports the rights of those who are

NEW YORK — New York gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon lashed out at Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Democratic Party on Sunday for running a “smear and fear mongering campaign” against her in the Jewish community ahead of the Democratic primary on September 13th.

A mailer sent out by the State Democratic Party over the weekend suggested that Nixon supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and would turn a blind eye towards anti-Semitism. “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’s headline reads.

Nixon’s progressive Jewish supporters and elected officials expressed outrage on social media and in particular over the timing, mere days before the Jewish New Year.

“I think the mailer is deeply offensive,” Nixon told reporters at a press conference in Brooklyn, noting that she considers herself an active member of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah and that her two older children are being raised Jewish.

“I am very alarmed by the rise of anti-Semitism, in this country and globally,” Nixon stated on Sunday. “I am frightened for my children. I am frightened for our world. And to use this kind of unfound charge as a political weapon, as a smear campaign, is unworthy of Andrew Cuomo’s Democratic Party.”

Governor Cuomo distanced himself from the mailer and New York State Democratic Committee Executive Geoff Berman said the party would “work with the Nixon campaign to send out a mailing of their choosing to the same universe of people.”

“I didn’t know about the mailer, I heard about the mailer, I haven’t seen the mailer,” Cuomo said at a press conference Sunday afternoon. “The way I ran this campaign, it’s been on the issues, it’s been positive. I think the mailer was a mistake. I think it was inappropriate.”

However, Nixon said a full apology is needed and demanded to know who was behind the offensive mailer. “The idea that Cuomo had no idea that this was happening is patently absurd.”

Nixon also expressed her opposition to the BDS movement. “I am not a supporter of BDS, I have never been a supporter of BDS,” Nixon proclaimed. “I am a supporter of a two-state solution. But neither do I favor what Andrew Cuomo does, in effectively making a blacklist of institutions and individuals who do support BDS. I believe they have the right to do that, and the ACLU condemned him for doing that. I do not personally support BDS, but I support the right of those who do to speak about it.”

Nixon indicated that she would revoke Cuomo’s executive order on BDS because it is “trampling on people’s civilities.”

Nixon also told Jewish Insider she stands by her 2010 support of Israeli artists for boycotting a performance in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. The letter, signed by Nixon and other Hollywood and Broadway stars, praised Israeli actors who “have refused to allow their work to be used to normalize a cruel occupation which they know to be wrong.”

“My signing of the letter had nothing to do with the appropriateness or inappropriateness of performing there,” Nixon explained. “It had to do with the protection of Israeli artists. It was a letter that was signed by a 150 English and American artists.”

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