Rockland County man under fire after antisemitic comments during public meeting
A Rockland County resident is under fire after a video exposed the man hurling disturbing antisemitic words at a public meeting.
The public meeting in Haverstraw now has local and state officials clamping down.
An outburst of backlash has already come out about the local resident after he said several hateful comments about the Jewish community.
"A certain sect of people tends to walk in the street, and nobody is wearing any reflective gear. So, if I run one of them over, and of course I'm going to back over them again,” said the Haverstraw resident.
These remarks, posted by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, are sparking major pushback from officials.
In a statement, Town of Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips says: "The Town of Haverstraw has always been a true melting pot of multiple cultures. We have never tolerated hate speech, nor will we."
Officials say the Chief of Haverstraw police is meeting with the district attorney Friday to review the video and see if the resident broke any laws.
If not, the town supervisor says he’s determined to keep the man away from future meetings based on his hate speech.
Statement from Town of Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips: The Town of Haverstraw has always been a true melting pot of multiple cultures. We have never tolerated hate speech, nor will we. The Chief of Police will be meeting with the DA tomorrow to review the video and see if the gentlemen broke any laws. If no laws were broken we are determined to keep him away from any future meetings based on his hate speech.
Statement from Rockland County Executive Ed Day: This is beyond disgusting and not what the people of Rockland are all about. We can disagree, argue and quarrel but the line is crossed when you state "There is a certain sect of people that tend to walk in the street, and nobody is wearing any reflective gear. So, if I run one of them over – and of course I’m gonna back over them again.” There is an intelligent and respectful way to make your point and this is clearly not that. This discourse is utterly ignorant and hateful and on behalf of the vast majority of the good people of Rockland, I condemn it in no uncertain terms.
Statement from the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC): “For years, people complained about development in Ramapo. Now that Orthodox Jews are moving into neighboring towns, people complain about this too. Something doesn’t add up.”
Statement from Town of Ramapo Supervisor Michael B. Specht: “Hearing a member of the public speak at a meeting hosted a local governmental body and describe how he would ‘back over them again’ if he ran over Jews walking in the street, is a dangerous and despicable manifestation of antisemitism that must be condemned in the strongest terms possible,” said Supervisor Specht. “These abhorrent comments are a heinous and hateful attack on the Jewish community and a painful reminder that antisemitism is regrettably alive and well.”
“As an elected official and as a Jew, I took umbrage at the antisemitic remarks that were made, and I will not remain silent while bigotry rears its ugly head,” added Supervisor Specht. “We must push back against the hate by denouncing it and by promoting greater tolerance of one another.”
“I commend the members of the Haverstraw Planning Board for doing the right thing and refusing to remain silent while this individual engaged in hatemongering,” said Supervisor Specht. “Antisemitism is not just a Jewish issue – it is an American issue and a global issue – and it is up to all of us to send a clear message that antisemitism and bigotry of any kind have no place whatsoever in our town, our county, our state, our country, or our world.”
Statement from Senator Chuck Schumer: "The anti-Semitic remarks made at a Rockland County town meeting today are unconscionable and wrong. It’s good to see the remarks met immediate condemnation."
"Antisemitism has no place in New York. Antisemitism has no place in this country."