Actress and liberal activist Cynthia Nixon, one of the stars of the "Sex and the City" television series and movies, announced on Monday she would run for governor of New York, challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination – and Alan Dershowitz is not pleased.
"I love New York, and today I'm announcing my candidacy for governor," Nixon, 51, said on Twitter.
In the run-up to Nixon’s announcement, high-profile attorney and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz slammed her Middle East politics in a tweet, calling out what he said was her “bigotry” in supporting “Israel Haters Jewish Voice for Peace” and actress “Vanessa Redgrave in boycotting Israel.”
After she made her announcement he reiterated his belief that Nixon was “anti-Israel.”
Dershowitz was referring to a September 2010 letter Nixon signed, joining together with150 American actors, writers, directors and other artists to voice support for Israeli actors who had declared they would not perform in the settlements, refusing to take their productions to a newly-built cultural center in the West Bank city of Ariel.
The petitions signatories included Redgrave - along with actors Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn and playwright Tony Kushner, and was organized by the Jewish Voice For Peace group that supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is on Israel's BDS blacklist.
A statement by Nixon's campaign called her a progressive alternative to Cuomo. It said the governor was a "centrist and Albany insider," mentioning the state capital, and referred to the legal troubles of a number of his aides.
"We want our government to work again, on healthcare, ending mass incarceration, fixing our broken subway," the statement said. "We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us. It can't just be business as usual anymore."
Cuomo, 60, the son of late New York Governor Mario Cuomo, is seeking his third term this year. The primary is on Sept. 13 and the general election on Nov. 6.
Nixon is aligned with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who is politically to the left of Cuomo. The two men have feuded publicly over issues such as public transit and public housing in the nation's largest city.
Cuomo has cultivated support in pro-Israel circles in recent years. During the 2014 Gaza conflict, he made a visit during which he declared “total solidarity” with Israel. He returned again in 2017, amid speculation that he was considering a presidential run.
In June 2016, Cuomo signed the first-ever executive order by a governor requiring state agencies to divest themselves of companies and organizations that support the BDS movement against Israel.
Reuters contributed to this report