Allegations are just accusations and denunciations about a person. They do not need to be substantiated. They are often slung in a person’s direction to tarnish character and to point out transgressions, proven or not.
Facts, on the other hand are truths backed by evidence which presents indisputable data.
We always believe facts. Allegations, however, are suspect and should not be concluded upon until they have run their due and fair course.
Thus, I cannot speak about allegations against my Senator, Bob Menendez. But, I can speak to facts.
It is a fact that Senator Menendez has led the efforts against Iran and its nuclear ambitions way before others knew about centrifuges. Now as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee and for decades before, our Senator from New Jersey has kept our eye on the target of this evil regime and their hateful rhetoric to ensure it never achieves nuclear capability.
It is a fact that Senator Menendez has repeatedly been governed by his conscience and not his party, crossing lines even when facing backlash to stand for what he believes is in his constituent’s and this country’s best interests. Senator Menendez regularly co-sponsors legislation with Republican colleagues if he believes the issue is one of concern. He is married to right over allegiance. I celebrate that ethic he demonstrates daily and wish more followed his example.
It is a fact that Senator Menendez has been a stalwart supporter of the victims of Hurricane Sandy. While the storm has passed the suffering for countless families has not. Bob Menendez keeps them in his mind and his efforts to provide the necessary monetary and emotional relief, even years after the storm. That is a sign of an honest leader.
It is a fact that Senator Menendez has been a fierce advocate for Autism and non-typical learners. Additionally, he has used his leadership to support all people, old and young with special needs throughout. Senator Menendez has done this throughout all of the titles of leadership he has worn proudly.
It is a fact that Senator Menendez is an unparalleled champion of the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel and the United States share values and technology along with unprecedented military cooperation. Few have stood taller and louder to support Israel and its right to exist free of terror then Bob Menendez.
The facts speak for themselves. The allegations though, do not jive with the facts and the person I am blessed to know and proud to call, my Senator. For now, until the process has been exhausted, I am sticking to the facts.
Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner,
Senior Rabbi, Temple Emanu-El, Closter NJ
Vice President of the NJ Board of Rabbis