UPDATE: The video that appeared on the Rockland County Republican Party’s social media page, and received a torrent of criticism from New York elected officials as being anti-Semitic, has been removed.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day, who himself has faced accusations of anti-Semitism, said in a statement that the video “set a troubling tone for a necessary conversation about overdevelopment in our county. While the content of the video is factual, the tone and undercurrent is unacceptable. Having listened closely to the concerns raised by residents and community leaders, I have contacted GOP Chairman Lawrence Garvey to request its removal and he assured me that he will.
As I have demonstrated, I have a great deal of respect for our Jewish neighbors and want them to know that as their County Executive I will always stand up against hatred. That said, the concerns raised about overdevelopment are accurate, well-grounded and desperately need to be addressed, but this must be done in a way free of rhetoric and rancor.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, “The video created and shared on social media by the Rockland County Republican Committee is not just disturbing, it is disgusting. This type of attack and incitement against the Hasidic community is the very definition of discrimination and anti-Semitism. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no excuse for anti-Semitism masquerading as concerns over zoning or development.”
Our original story appears below.
New York Attorney General Letitia James Wednesday night issued a blistering rebuke of a “deeply disturbing” video posted on the Rockland County Republican Party’s social media page that portrays proposed housing development for the chareidi community as a “threat” for the town.
The video that James is referring to is titled “A storm is brewing in Rockland,” and warns that overdevelopment threatens the area.
“Aron Wieder and his Ramapo bloc are plotting a takeover,” text on the video declares. “IF THEY WIN. WE LOSE.”
“This video is deeply disturbing and should be removed and condemned immediately by the Rockland County Republican Party,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
“To clearly state that members of the Jewish community are a threat to families and our safety and that they must be stopped is despicable and completely unacceptable. Attacking those who are different than we are only breeds hate and makes us weaker. We must all stand together to denounce this hateful video.”
Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder thanked James in a tweet, thanking her for using her position to take a strong stand against intolerable hate.
“Your unrelenting condemnation of bigotry and hysterical doomsday theorists serves New Yorkers well.”
The Republican Jewish Committee also condemned the video: “This video is absolutely despicable. It is pure anti-Semitism, and should be immediately taken down. The Rockland County Republican Party is an embarrassment and has no place associating itself with our party.”
The underlying issue is a recent Ramapo town hall meeting over a zoning change that would allow development of at least 220 units 27 acres along the Clarkstown and Spring Valley border, and ahead of the Nov. 5 local elections.
Updated Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 3:16 pm .