Thursday, July 09, 2020

Councilman Fernando Cabrera (Credit: Cabrera for Congress)

On April 28, New York City Council’s Majority Whip, Fernando Cabrera, will challenge Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the current Congress member for New York’s 14th district serving the East Bronx and northern Queens, in a Democratic primary election.

Cabrera explained that his campaign’s inspiration was born out of concern for AOC’s political leanings.  

“I am very concerned about her anti-Semitic comments and tone, which she brings into the discussion, ” Cabrera said. “This race is a national race, and this race has greater implications than local issues. I think that she really does not understand what is happening in Israel. I believe that the people who live in Israel should have their ultimate say about the future of Israel, not outsiders, especially people who have never been to Israel.” 

Cabrera has visited Israel seven times––with Michael Miller (JCRC-NY), with Christians United for Israel (CU-FI) and twice on missions Cabrera organized himself.  

“Israel is the perfect example of how people can live together,” he said. “There is no safer place for Christians to live in the Middle East. Muslims live in Israel and serve in the Knesset.”

Cabrera explained that AOC has been offered trips to Israel by JCRC and other Jewish groups, but has refused every offer. 

“I will go anywhere I am asked to go, if it’s to work towards a better future for a country,” Cabrera said, “It benefits the whole world. I don’t go by what other people say. I have to see firsthand, meeting real people who actually live there, and not have filtered opinions that we usually find in the media.” 

Cabrera further emphasized his loyalty for Israel. “I will stand against any BDS,” he said. “I will stand against anything that will hurt our greatest ally in the Middle East. My track record has proven that.”

Even before Cabrera entered office, he had always remained inclusive of the Jewish faith. His congregation co-hosted model seders and interfaith picnics. When he enters office, he hopes to carry with him similar values, and serve as a defender of both Judaism and Israel.  

“When I get to Congress, I will join my colleagues to protect the right of Israel to determine their future and not have any other country try to shove it down their throat,” he said.

On Iran, Cabrera said, “I think more than ever we need to stand with Israel with all the antagonism they have against Israel. They work with Hezbollah. When rockets go up, they don’t discriminate.”

Cabrera wants Jewish voters to know that they can rely on him to be a representative of the Jewish community.  

“They have a real friend, a friend from the heart, a friend that has put feet to his words when it comes to the Jewish community,”  Cabrera said. “I am the former volunteer director for CUFI, the biggest pro-Israel Evangelical Christian organization in America. It is bigger than AIPAC. I have been working with Israel’s Consul-General, hosting their military.”

In the New York City Council, Cabrera has voted for every pro-Israel resolution throughout the last 10 years.

“I have seen people like AOC trying to shift the culture,” he said. “I have seen the latest ADL numbers showing anti-Semitic attacks on the rise. I think it’s because of this rhetoric. Words are powerful and no one knows that better than the Jewish people.”

Cabrera also noted that he is entering the race out of concern for how AOC handled the Amazon deal. 

“My first red flag was when I realized she was clueless how the economy here in New York City works, and the negative impact of losing 25,000 direct jobs, 100,000 indirect jobs and 27 billion dollars,” he said. “I am very fearful of her socialist agenda, which has not worked in any other country.” 

“I don’t want to see taxes at 60%. It will slow down our economy. Her plans will bankrupt this nation.” The ‘Green New Deal’ is estimated to cost 73 trillion dollars.

Cabrera is the senior pastor of New Life Outreach International in the Bronx. As a school and substance abuse counselor, he also directed the mental health and counseling graduate program at Mercy College, where he taught for 12 years. 

Councilman Cabrera earned his bachelor’s in religion, and his doctorate in counseling. A Bronx native, he and his wife Elvia are proud parents and grandparents.

To learn more about Cabrera, please see his website

By Judy Berger




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