City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park/Red Hook) last night apologized to a group of Orthodox Jews for a social media video he made featuring his loud and vocal chant, “All the walls have got to go, from Palestine to Mexico.”
But Menchaca refuses to issue the apology publicly or make any more comments on the subject.
According to sources, Menchaca apologized for the post at the Manhattan Beach charity dinner for Yad Ephraim, a non-profit organization whose mission is to ease the pain and suffering of Jews laying scattered in Brooklyn hospitals.
Among the local elected officials at the dinner included Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Boro Park) and City Councilman David Greenfield (D-Boro Park, Midwood, Flatbush, Bensonhurst). Adams reportedly left before Menchaca issued his apology.
According to sources at the dinner, Menchaca got on the lectern and said he realized he made a terrible comparison between the wall in Mexico and the wall in Israel, and he apologized profusely. He said he comes from Mexico and is very sensitive about the Trump’s planned wall, but some colleagues educated him on how the Israeli wall was built for security and is credited for curtailing suicide bombers that are terrorizing Israeli civilians.
Menchaca’s office confirmed the council member issued the apology, but said there is no formal public apology statement to release at this time.
This is not Menchaca’s first brush with issuing anti-Israeli rhetoric and votes. In the past, he even came to Hikind’s office and apologized, garnering the state lawmaker’s blessing. But Hikind isn’t buying his most recent apology.
“If he [Menchaca] apologized, the world needs to hear his apology. I want to know why he’s apologizing. Unless he explains why he is apologizing it means zero to me. He thinks he made a boo boo. He’s made a boo boo a couple of times now. He’s rightfully concerned about the repercussions to his re-election campaign and now we all need to hear why he changed his mind in such a short period of time,” said Hikind.
Menchaca’s latest criticism and apology concerning Israel comes as two people – Assembly Member Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) and attorney Delvis Valdes – are rumored to possibly challenge Menchaca in the September City Council primary.
Ortiz could not be reached for comment, but Valdes called Menchaca’s apology pure political expediency and that if he meant it he should call a press conference to apologize.
“This was a horrible apology and he [Menchaca] sincerely believes what he says,” said Valdes. “I don’t know if it’s hatred of Jews or what, but you can’t compare the two walls. I don’t belive the wall between Mexico and America should be there either. That wall is to keep people out that want to come here to make a better life. The Israeli wall is to prevent terrorist attacks.”