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GOP Facebook ad called anti-SemiticPosted: Updated:
A Facebook campaign ad from the Republican Party in Rockland County is being called anti-Semitic by some.
The campaign ad portrays proposed housing for the Hasidic Jewish community as a threat to the county's families, schools and overall way of life. It also apparently pits Orthodox Jews against the rest of Rockland.
Posted Wednesday by the Rockland County Republican Committee on its Facebook page, the ad has drawn fire from a number of politicians.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo denounced it as "the very definition of discrimination and anti-Semitism."
County Legislator Aron Wieder, whom the video targets as plotting a countywide takeover, says he wants those involved in the video, including GOP Chairman Lawrence Garvey, to resign.
Wieder adds that he's always opposed overdevelopment.
“I would venture to say more people within the Orthodox Jewish community have condemned overdevelopment than outside of it,” he says.
County Executive Ed Day says the video's concerns about overdevelopment are accurate, but, “While the content of the video is factual, the tone and undercurrent is unacceptable... I have contacted GOP Chairman Lawrence Garvey to request its removal and he assured me that he will."
Minutes later, the video was removed.
Those who fight housing problems firsthand say overdevelopment is rampant because of a lack of enforcement, not due to any one group.
Although the video has been removed, Garvey is still defending its message, releasing a statement saying overdevelopment isn't a religious issue, but about the "greed of a handful of elected officials who wish to yield their power over an entire county."
The video was posted just hours before local lawmakers, including Day, were scheduled to hold a news conference calling on the state to intervene in Ramapo to better enforce building codes in the town.