The word mensch, for those whose knowledge of Yiddish is limited to schlep and oy vey, connotes “a person of integrity and honor.”
Briefly this week, former Democratic presidential hopeful and current New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, was a mensch.
On Monday, Yang said of the U.S.’s greatest partner and only democracy in the Middle East:
I’m standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorist. The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere.
As the New York Times notes, the statement “might have seemed politically unremarkable, perhaps even expected, from a leading candidate to be New York City’s next mayor.” But as the use of the conditional reveals, the 1.1 million Jews who live in New York, making it the largest Jewish community the in the world outside of Israel, are no match for the 69,985 who make their home in the five boroughs:
At a campaign stop in Queens, Mr. Yang was confronted about his statement and its failure to mention the Palestinians, including children, who were killed in the airstrikes. Mr. Yang was uninvited from an event hosted by the Astoria Welfare Society to distribute food to families at the end of Ramadan.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat who has condemned the “occupation of Palestine,” called Mr. Yang’s statement “utterly shameful,” noting that it came during Ramadan.
On Wednesday Yang released a much longer statement in which he retracted his earlier comments, which he said were “overly simplistic.”
— Andrew Yang🧢🗽🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) May 12, 2021
What was the upshot of Yang’s retraction? According to New York’s Daily News, Yang is back on top of mayoral field with 21% support. In this day and age, no misdeed goes unrewarded.