Sheldon Silver had a good excuse for missing the 34th annual Met Council legislative breakfast at the Roosevelt Hotel on Sunday. “Only my grandson’s graduation keeps me from joining you in person” the state assembly speaker explained in a video message.
Met Council executive director/CEO William Rapfogel said the organization has been engaged in “deeds of kindness” by providing 100,000 New Yorkers with human services ranging from domestic violence counseling to kosher food pantries.
“I believe in deeds of kindness,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg remarked, “so I will speak for only two minutes.”
As Met Council chair Merryl Tisch placed a yarmulke on his head, the mayor said, “I wish I had this to cover my bald spot in this morning’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.”
After Rabbi Yechezkel Pikus, executive director of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush (COJO), accepted a Met Council award, Rep. Charles Schumer cracked, “I wish I had your lean body…and the mayor’s money.”
“You wouldn’t want my taxes,” the mayor shot back.
Rep. Charles Rangel led a parade of speakers in support of Israel’s defensive policies. He likened Israel’s blockade of Gaza to America’s blockade of Cuba to prevent rockets arriving from the Soviet Union. “This was a repeat of the past.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney saw the flotilla as an act to breach the blockade. “They claim it was a humanitarian act. I say it was terrorism.”
Mayor Bloomberg clarified the problem: “If Hamas puts down their guns there will be peace. If Israel puts down their guns there will be genocide.”
Tim Boxer is editor of 15MinutesMagazine.com
Signup for our weekly email newsletter here.