When Rabbi Susan Talve heard that Patricia and Mark McCloskey would be speaking at the RNC, she decided she could no longer keep quiet.
“It’s so upsetting that they have a national audience. It’s upsetting we make heroes out of people who hate.”
The McCloskeys are Talve’s neighbors and their property’s northern wall abuts the property of St. Louis’ Jewish Central Reform Congregation, where Talve is the rabbi.
In 2013, the synagogue placed beehives along the wall to produce honey for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. One morning they found the hives destroyed and all the bees dead.
Mark McCloskey had taken an ax or sledgehammer to them.
The fence between them sat six inches inside the McCloskey’s property line. The hives were his to wreck.
“He could have picked up the phone and said, ‘Hey, those beehives are on my property,’ and we would have happily moved them.”
She said children at the synagogue wept when they heard the news of the hives. The synagogue also maintains raised bed gardens on its property that supply some 2,000 pounds of fresh produce to a local food pantry, as well as pear, fig and apple trees.
“We were going to have our own apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah!”
She said the McCloskeys didn’t contact the temple at all before lashing out.
Instead, McCloskey left a note threatening to sue the synagogue for damages if the shattered hives were not removed at once.
“Civility. I’m willing to speak out now because there’s such a lack of civility that’s happening, and I don’t feel like I can be a part of that, and silence is complicity.
They are bullies. The fact that they’re speaking at the convention is a win for bullies.”
Judging by their remarks at the RNC, the McCloskeys don’t see it that way at all. Patricia McCloskey said,
“What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country.”
Mark McClosky said,
“It seems the Democrats view the job of the government as protecting criminals from honest citizens.”
When reporter Jeremy Kohler broke the story of the McCloskey’s anti-beehive rampage in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Talve confirmed what happened but otherwise refrained from speaking out against the couple.
(Photos, screen grabs; via Forward)