New York, NY, June 5, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed concern over an online campaign video in support of the candidacy of Mr. Richard Vasquez for Rockland County sheriff, which included an image of visibly identifiable Orthodox Jews suggesting that the Jewish community is responsible for housing issues in the county.
The video entitled “Where Does Louis Falco Stand on Illegal Housing?” was purportedly uploaded by the local Rockland Republican Party on April 30, and includes a photograph of current Sheriff Lou Falco surrounded by traditional Orthodox Jews with the video’s narrator stating that the sheriff “has refused to enforce illegal housing laws.”
“We find the use of an image of visibly identifiable Jews in this campaign video to be deeply troubling, highly offensive, and inappropriate, as it essentially blames the Orthodox Jewish community for the substandard and illegal housing problems in Rockland,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “Voters should be encouraged to make decisions about candidates based upon their qualifications, political positions and not on the basis of race or religion without offensive insertions ascribing blame on an issue to a particular religious group.”
Mr. Bernstein added, “We urge Mr. Vasquez to edit the video and make clear that the crux of his campaign – and this county issue – has nothing to do with the Rockland Jewish community.”
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, ADL does not support or oppose candidates for public office.