New York, NY, September 17, 2018… The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned comments from a town supervisor in Orange County, calling the comments anti-Semitic and hateful.
According to local reporting, Alex Jamieson, Town Supervisor of the town of Chester, New York, explained, “The idea is to keep the Hasidic [sic] out,” as the justification for a recent Town purchase of a nine-acre property, as well as the Town’s consideration of adopting an open-space preservation program and instituting a ward system for electing Town Board members.
“The comments from Chester Town Supervisor Alex Jamieson are anti-Semitic, plain and simple,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL’s New York / New Jersey Regional Director. “No one should speak this way,” Bernstein continued, “but these comments are particularly abhorrent coming from an elected government official.”
According to reporting, the nine-acre land purchase is part of an alleged “sweeping effort” to buy up as much open land in the Town as possible to stem the influx of Hasidic Jewish families. The town is reportedly finalizing contracts to acquire land totaling 186 acres. “This is just the first phase,” Supervisor Jamieson is quoted as saying, “the fear of KJ expanding into Chester is scaring people half to death.” KJ refers to Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic village in the neighboring town of Monroe, which has seen rapid population growth.
ADL’s Evan Bernstein said further, “Concerns over land use and overdevelopment do not excuse prejudice or bigotry. Any effort targeting people on account of their faith, ethnicity, or appearance is abhorrent. We unequivocally condemn Town Supervisor Jamieson’s comments and call on all Chester officials and community leaders to denounce them as well. Particularly during the High Holidays, and at a time when incidents of anti-Semitism are at record-levels, Supervisor Jamieson’s remarks are deeply hurtful and bigoted. We strongly urge the New York State Attorney General to investigate further.”
ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. More at www.adl.org.