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Wednesday, April 13, 2016 

Ultra-orthodox must stop using anti-semitism card

I'd alluded to this case in New Jersey's Lakewood/Toms River regions a few weeks ago, and now, a letter's been written to the Asbury Park Press rebutting a victimology op-ed they'd published:
Regarding the April 4 oped, “Schnall: Anti Orthodox editorial xenophobic,” why is it that every time someone exposes the real estate practices of Lakewood Hasidic Jews who are segregationist, must we endure their anti-Semitic insults.

In Jackson, we have seen the "invading" expansion that occurred there in the past several decades, and it is now occurring in Brookwood One, on Galassi Court, and in other areas of my town. Long-term residents have seen all sorts of examples of real estate schemes manipulating well-intended business and pro- religious protection laws.

Schnall and Orthodox religious leaders must stop playing the anti-Semitic card. The Orthodox need to stop “invading” neighboring towns. Instead, they should follow the example of the Amish people of Pennsylvania. They are an equally insulated community, but as opposed to the ultraOrthodox Hasidic, they are totally self-supporting. They have carved out a region for themselves without expanding and being an expense to the rest of the population.

I am tired of having to listen to the same accusation of anti-Semitism from Orthodox leaders every time they are met with opposition. Anti-Semitic accusations are the typical go-to strategy when there is no other defense in efforts to intimidate the non-Orthodox into submission.

Lakewood, in its attempt to become the biggest ultraOrthodox Hasidic center in the world is importing and advertising it as an attractive area for its members to move in. In this quest, it has run out of land. I don’t want its overpopulation and deficits.
A challenging question is what's so great about all the houses already built that they want to buy that isn't so great about a house they could build themselves? What's clear for now is that the Haredis in Lakewood have proven an embarrassment for all with their socialist structure, and nobody with common sense should sell to them. I just hope they won't sell to potentially dangerous Islamists either, because that would make things even worse. I wouldn't be surprised if the Haredis in NJ were trying to draw attention away from such issues with the way they're going about.

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