Sid Rosenberg, the host of 77 WABC's Sid and Friends in the Morning, spoke to Arutz Sheva - Israel National News about his decision to come broadcast from Israel precisely during these times.
“That decision was actually made on October the 7th, but logistically it took some time to put this trip into place. I've got a huge, huge show back in New York, in the US, so we had to make sure that the company back home, WABC, had its ducks in order. I have a guy on the ground here in Israel, in Gush Etzion. He's a wonderful friend, Yehuda Honigman, who actually put the whole trip together for us. He got One Israel Fund to pay for the most part, so between Yehuda working on a sponsor, my station getting their ducks in order, it took a couple of months to get this thing going, but the truth is I made the decision to come all the way back on that tragic day, the worst day, October the 7th,” he said.
Even though Sid has been hearing the news and reporting the news from his studio in New York, he still felt that he needed to come here, to be here. "People keep saying to me, ‘Why now?’ I've got a friend who lives in Netanya. He has a house on the beach. He says ‘Why now? Everything was so beautiful. We've got beautiful weather. It was safe.' Why now? The answer is in the question. Because now is the time to come. It's easy to come to the beaches, when everything is going well, and the sun is shining. The question is when people need you, are you going to be there."
Even though Sid has never been to Israel, “I pride myself on being a very strong Jewish boy out of Brooklyn and I was looking forward to getting here one day. This is the time to come. I can't tell you how many people in the streets in the last four days have recognized me and go ‘thanks for coming, thanks for coming now. This is the time where we need you. We need support from America, from New York, from around the world.’ I think it was an easy decision to come now. This is the time to be here. I urge all my Jewish friends, all over the world, come here now, because, a. the people here need you and b. when you do that, you tell the bad guys, Hamas and Hezbollah and all these terrorists, we’re not afraid. I have been here now for five days. I wear shirts with the Israeli flag. I wear a Jewish star. I'm wearing this lovely necklace, begging the terrorists to bring our people home. Begging is the wrong word, asking them and I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid to walk into the Muslim quarter and tell these folks ‘hey, I'm Jewish.’ So I'm hoping I'm sending a message to Jews and non-Jews, but mostly Jews around the world, this is the time to be here.”
Sid did not come to Israel just to visit and express solidarity, but he is broadcasting and conveying important messages that “I think the misconception out of Israel is something really bad happened in the south, it's still kind of going on, and they're bracing for something bigger in the north. But they don't know, for example, I went to a barbecue just outside of Gush Etzion, in Judea and Samaria, and 200 soldiers had just come home after four months of fighting. Outside of Israel people don't know this is going on all over the country. It didn't start with Hamas in the south. It's not going to end with Hamas in the south. I wouldn't have known that if I didn't come here and see those brave men and women who are all hugging me. I think I've been able to tell the folks in New York just how widespread the issues are here, just how many enemies are living amongst us that want to kill us, which makes life even more difficult. And yet people walk around with a smile on their face, and I wanted to be here too, to see some of the places that I was aware of, dating back to October the 7th. So those were the messages I wanted to convey. Also I wanted to bring on local people. I want people to know that as bad as things can be here, as difficult, as scary, we're in a war zone, you wouldn't know it. People smile, they laugh. I've met some of the happiest, some of the most confident, some of the smartest and greatest people. I think, as a whole, Israelis are the best people on the planet, and you see that most at times like these.”
Sid recorded a few interviews from Israel, including an interesting interview with former president Trump. “The president has been on my show a couple of times. He'll be back on my show next Thursday. There's been no president in the history of this country better to Israel than Trump. A lot of guys made a lot of promises. Six presidents before Donald Trump promised to move the Embassy to Jerusalem. None of them did it. None of them, including a couple of Republicans, like Bush 41 and Bush 43. Trump did it. Trump recognized the Golan Heights as a part of Israel. Trump and Jared Kushner put together the Abraham Accords, peace with countries like Saudi Arabia. Trump stopped delivering pallets of cash overnight to Palestinians, which ended up in the hands of Hamas, like Obama did way too often and Biden is doing now. You've got a president right now whose got the nerve to go on television after this war started and say 'I'm pro-Israel.' A lot of morons in America, Democrats that believe that. I know better because you cannot be pro-Israel and at the same time be part of two administrations that did not sanction Iran, that loosen the restrictions that got them their money, $6 billion to Iran just a couple of months ago, from Biden.”
Regarding internal US politics, Sid says that “there's no question who Israel should prefer in the White House. I mean I'm not a one-issue voting type of guy. I mean I've got issues back in the US that only Donald Trump can fix and there's other issues around the world that only Donald Trump can fix – the Chinese, the Russians, all these things going on, Russia-Ukraine, but in terms of Israel, I went over what this man did for Israel. Look at the guy’s daughter. He's got one daughter and she's an orthodox Jew. She converted. She keeps kosher, his grandchildren go to shul. He's been to shul on Rosh Hashanah. You think Joe Biden's been to shul? You think Barack Obama's been to shul? These guys hang out with a bunch of Jew haters, that whole Democrat Party, even Jews in the Democrat Party, people like Bernie Sanders that hate the Jews. If you are an Israeli, if you're a Jew anywhere around the world, and you don't vote for Donald Trump, in my opinion you're a disgrace.”
Many people in Israel were praising the special personal friendship with President Biden during the days after the October 7th attack, but Sid questions: “What personal friendship? Bibi can't stand him. Let's be honest. Israel needs America. They need the money right now. You got a war in the south. You're about to have this huge war in the north. In terms of resources, we need America so they say nice things. Bibi is not a moron, he knows. Again, you cannot be friends with Iran, who is funding the Houthis and funding Hamas and all the terrorist groups around the world. All comes from Iran and America, and before and after Trump, Obama and Biden have basically befriended that country again, loosened sanctions, loosened restrictions, gave them money, terrible hostage swap, so what I'm telling you is, you can say it ‘I love Israel, I'm here for Israel,’ but actions speak louder than words and clearly Joe Biden is playing for both teams.”
On the Biden Administration’s attempt to promote a Palestinian State, despite what we've all gone through, Sid claims that “that's not going to happen, because Bibi is not going to allow that to happen. When Bibi unfortunately has to leave, because the truth is he blew it; he blew it. I love Netanyahu, I think he's great, but he blew it on October 7th. He can't live with that. He's going to be done, but whoever's in charge here, unless it's a real lefty, they're not going to allow that to happen. And that's another reason why. You just said it. You're going to ask me about Joe Biden, he's asking for a two-state solution. Ladies and gentlemen, how long have we tried to live peacefully with these people? A two-state solution? How many wars? How many years? How many buses have to get blown up? How many pizzerias have to get blown up? How many of our daughters have to get raped and babies thrown in ovens before we come to the realization that after 70 years and longer, that they don't want a two-state solution. They want to destroy us. It's enough, no two-state solution. Wipe out Hamas.
“Let me ask you this. When the Palestinians, the innocent Palestinians, were asked to leave, because we didn’t want to kill them, all these other countries, Egypt, Jordan, the Middle East countries, they didn't want them. They said no thanks. Nobody wants these people with the two-state solution. We've tried it and time and time again; they've proven they don't care. It's not about land. They want dead Jews.”
Sid describes antisemitism in the US as “horrible. I live in New York, and we've got pro-Palestinian rallies just about every night. I remember the day after the first call for the Jihad Friday, which was six days after those vicious October 7th attacks. There was a pro-Palestinian rally in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. They drew 6,000 people. I hosted an effort outside of Cooper Union, by New York University, and I got 40 people, so they've been outnumbering us for quite some time. Now they're at the point where they're blocking Bridges, they're blocking tunnels. I was warned last Saturday when I left after Shabbat to fly here, to get there early because pro-Palestinians are making sure that flights like El Al can't take off to Israel, by blocking the passengers’ way to the airport. It is unbelievable what's going on in New York, and legally there's not much we can do about it. We arrest some of these people, when they break the law, like block a bridge or block a tunnel, but they have amassed in big numbers, thousands and thousands of these low lives that walk our streets every night. They have no idea why. We explain to them they're advocating murder and they say ‘what's your proof?’ I can show them a video of a baby being thrown in an oven, God forbid, or a girl being raped and they'll go ‘oh you made that up, you doctored that video.’ So, it is a very, very big problem in the US. You saw it with the infestation of our universities. We are infested in America with antisemitism and folks that find it chic and kind of cool to hate Jews and hate Israel.”
Sid believes that the US is dealing with a whole generation of morons “that needs to be re-educated. I mean the parents don't care, the schools don't care, so these kids don't care. The same kids that are blocking the airport entrance, are the same stupid kids who marched in the summer of 2020 breaking windows and setting police stations on fire for the BLM. They're looking for a cause. They believe that BLM, who of course is a Marxist terrorist organization, was a good cause. They believe that this Palestinian effort, who murders babies and rapes young girls, that's a good cause. These are the same people, we're seeing them year after year just get involved with these groups, because they need to do something and until their parents and the universities and maybe even the police, start arresting more of these people, nothing's going to change. But it does start at home. I'm not sure what these parents are doing that these kids are going to very richy and very costly universities and their parents think it's okay. It is grotesque.”
Sid ends the interview with something positive, “I'll tell you, I've never been to Israel and my expectations were that it was going to be a special place and I was wrong. It's not a special place, it's a very special place, above and beyond all the sites and the history. Just amazing history. I’m happy that I had a chance to meet so many fine people, because as I said earlier, and I mean this, I've never seen a better group of people than the Israelis. These are people going through a very difficult time. You wouldn't even know it. It's a beautiful place. It is where the world started. I don't care what religion, it all started right here. So, if you appreciate history, if you appreciate good people, if you appreciate patriotism, if you appreciate loyalty, and if you appreciate good-looking people and good food, Israel is number one in the world.”