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Video allegedly used fear to spread misinformation, influence voting in ultra-Orthodox community

Many in Rockland are calling for action after they say a political propaganda video circulated before Tuesday's election, using fear to spread misinformation and influence voting in the county's ultra-Orthodox community.

News 12 Staff

Nov 7, 2019, 10:13 PM

Updated 1,687 days ago

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Many in Rockland are calling for action after they say a political propaganda video circulated before Tuesday's election, using fear to spread misinformation and influence voting in the county's ultra-Orthodox community. 
 The video in Yiddish allegedly tells ultra-Orthodox viewers in Rockland County to vote row A, or Democratic, or they could face consequences like getting arrested by the FBI. 

The video includes Mike Diederich, an independent, who lost the district attorney race to Tom Walsh.
Walsh had the Democratic and Republican parties endorsement, and also the bloc vote from the county's ultra-Orthodox community.
“The video likened me to a stormtrooper, frankly a Nazi stormtrooper,” says Diederich.
The video even included a flash frame with Walsh's campaign slogan.
Now, both the Jewish Federation of Rockland and County Executive Ed Day are denouncing the video as hateful propaganda.

“To play a video in a predominantly Orthodox community that shows FBI knocking down doors and taking them out of the home, that sounds like Kristallnacht,” says Day. “I'm calling for the chairman of the Democratic party, Kristen Stavisky, to immediately condemn this, loudly and strongly.”
Stavisky did not condemn the video, telling News 12 it didn't come from the Democratic committee, and “There is nothing in the imagery about religion and nothing targeting a specific community.”
But News 12 found another video, also in Yiddish, attacking Diederich, saying he'll close yeshivas if elected.

So far, no one has been able to tell News 12 who created the videos.
Walsh could not be reached for comment about the videos attacking his opponent in Tuesday's race for district attorney. 


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