In the Af­ter­math of Char­lottesville & Ex­trem­ism

The Jewish Voice - - EDITORIAL -

Dear Ed­i­tor:

Af­ter the fall­out of the Lake­wood pub­lic as­sis­tance cri­sis the VAAD de­cided to rein­vent them­selves. They hired a pub­lic re­la­tions agency to pol­ish their im­age. On a daily ba­sis mag­a­zine ar­ti­cles were now be­ing pub­lished mak­ing the VAAD seem rel­e­vant and car­ing. VAAD mem­bers on Hat­zola were in­ter­viewed. The ben­e­fits of VAAD re­lated busi­nesses such as CHEMED were men­tioned. The his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the lead­ers of the VAAD and their in­te­gral bond with Lake­wood his­tory was dis­cussed. These ar­ti­cles were meant to be read by all lo­cal res­i­dents as well as the ortho­dox com­mu­nity to re­mind ev­ery­one of the ben­e­fits and ac­com­plish­ments of the VAAD.

A few weeks later the coun­try be­came ob­sessed with the events of an Alt Right wing march in Char­lottesville to protest the re­moval of con­fed­er­ate stat­ues . Many of the par­tic­i­pants chanted old Nazi slo­gans such as "Blood and Soil" and "Jews will not re­place us".

The re­sponse from Don­ald Trump was tepid and seemed to de­fend some of those march­ing with the Neo Nazis. Al­ter­nate speeches were given, only to once again be wiped away with the next days ques­tion­able speech. Jewish me­dia re­sponded by ei­ther con­demn­ing or de­fend­ing the Pres­i­dent's re­sponse. Pun­dits squared off all over so­cial me­dia, and the over­all ortho­dox re­sponse was still sup­port­ive of the Pres­i­dent. The Lake­wood VAAD felt that they should speak up as well and de­cided to con­demn the Pres­i­den­tial re­sponse to the Char­lottesville protest.

They were ob­vi­ously try­ing to seem rel­e­vant as lead­ers of the Lake­wood com­mu­nity. Their PR firm must have told them that show­ing con­cern about Anti Semitism would put them in a pos­i­tive light. As lead­ers they should show their out­rage .

Many peo­ple in the Lake­wood Ortho­dox com­mu­nity guf­fawed at the state­ment. They never saw a VAAD state­ment about any pres­i­den­tial ac­tions be­fore. Some peo­ple in the Ortho­dox com­mu­nity were out­raged that the VAAD would an­tag­o­nize the Pres­i­dent. Many are still very sup­port­ive of Trump and feel we need to show our sup­port . What­ever one may think of the VAAD po­si­tion on Don­ald Trump's re­ac­tion to Char­lottesville, one thing is abun­dantly clear. This state­ment is the most disin­gen­u­ous, hyp­o­crit­i­cal state­ment the VAAD ever made.

Sin­cerely Her­shel Her­shkowitz

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