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Albany, NY - Assemblyman Blasts Hikind For Anti-Semitic Accusations At KJ Annexation Hearing

Published on: June 16, 2015 11:14 AM
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Assemblyman Karl Brabenec Assemblyman Karl Brabenec

Albany, NY - An Orange County Assemblyman has taken his Brooklyn counterpart to task, chastising Assemblyman Dov Hikind for what he termed inflammatory remarks during the Kiryas Joel public hearing last week.

In a letter to Hikind dated June 15th, Assemblyman Karl Brabenec who represents both the Town of Monroe and the Village of Kiryas Joel, slammed Hikind for comments the veteran assemblyman made during the hearing equating “anti-annexation” with “anti-Hasidic Jew.”

Brabenec noted in his letter that any opposition to the annexation are based on concerns about the projected growth in Kiryas Joel and demands that that growth would place on local infrastructure including traffic and sewer issues.  Brabenec also emphasized that opposition to the expansion is further exacerbated by Kiryas Joel’s refusal to discuss these matters with critics and have nothing to do with religion.

“I assure you these questions would be raised whether Kiryas Joel was composed of Buddhists, atheists or Anabaptists!” wrote Brabenec.  “This was the essence of my message when I spoke at the same public hearing as you did. Our community needs peace and we need to be better neighbors to each other, but there will be no peace as long as public debate is supplanted by name-calling and obstinacy.”

Brabenec charged that while Hikind had advocated for finding a way to achieve a peaceful coexistence, his words had exactly the opposite effect and that harmony will be impossible to achieve as long as Kiryas Joel officials continue to play the anti-Semitism card in response to any opposition to the proposed expansion.

In a phone interview with VIN News, Hikind stood behind his allegations of anti-Semitism.

“I know that Assemblyman Brabenec means well but it was clear to me seeing such an undertone of negativity that night that there is a large measure of anti-Orthodox, more specifically anti-Chasidic sentiment and there is no question that there was even some anti-Semitism there,” Hikind told VIN News.

Hikind emphasized that while he may have said that local residents were opposed to Orthodox Jews moving in, it is really the influx of Chasidic Jews that seems to make people uncomfortable.

“They look upon people with 8 or 10 or 14 kids and say, ‘That is what is going to move in here?’” observed Hikind.  “When people said how many children they have, you heard hissing in the room.  A lot of people would just prefer people they could bowl with, go to the movies with and go the local pizzeria with.”

Hikind acknowledged that mistakes have likely been made on both sides.

“No one is saying that one side is perfect while the other is not,” said Hikind. “But it is crystal clear to me that people feel the Chasidim are going to ruin the neighborhood.  People have a right to buy homes and have the kind of families they want to have.”

Hikind acknowledged that he may be criticized for his remarks but refused to rescind them.

“People can live in their own make believe worlds and are entitled to believe that the opposition to this expansion is innocent,  but there is no doubt that what drives all of this is the intention to keep out the Chasidim,” said Hikind.

See below Assemblyman’s Brabenec Letter to Assemblyman Hikind:


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Read Comments (15)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 16, 2015 at 11:39 AM Anonymous Says:

by the way the last line in his letter is the real zinger.

2

 Jun 16, 2015 at 12:11 PM ALTERG Says:

Brabenec felt left out, that an other assemblyman comes out & got the full attention in his district,
Let brabenec start working a little for his people.

3

 Jun 16, 2015 at 12:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

by the way the last line in his letter is the real zinger.

Of course. That's why it's saved for the last line. Anyway we're all proud of you that you did figure that out.

4

 Jun 16, 2015 at 12:43 PM Einstein Genius Says:

We must give credit to where credit is due. It took this assemblyman almost a week to come up with his letter attacking Hikind. Just wondering if those Mexicanas working in KJ helped him write it.

5

 Jun 16, 2015 at 12:48 PM a shanda but Says:

Brabanec points out that 93% are on medicaid. To me it is a bit of a shanda but it is not illegal. I did not know that was illegal nor did I know that can be considered as a factor.

6

 Jun 16, 2015 at 01:06 PM lavrenty Says:

Reply to #5  
a shanda but Says:

Brabanec points out that 93% are on medicaid. To me it is a bit of a shanda but it is not illegal. I did not know that was illegal nor did I know that can be considered as a factor.

brabenec is a Republican so unlike Hikind he is not tax and spend DEMOCRAT thats why he pointed it out, furthermore it is in fact a CHUTZPA for Hikind and Adams to go there and tell them what to do, would Hikind want Brabenec to come to Boro Park and say build here and not there?

7

 Jun 16, 2015 at 01:26 PM Oyvey Says:

If they weren't chasidim, but any other group that had 8-16 children per family that so changed the neighborhood with minimal concern for the affect they were having on everyone else, you would be seeing the same reaction from the original populace.
Take out the word "chassidim" and replace it with "African-Americans" or "Irish" or anything else and put all the other details in and place yourself in the quiet, spread out, rural setting that existed there before Kiryas Joel came into existence. What would your reaction be?

9

 Jun 16, 2015 at 03:10 PM yosher Says:

What's wrong? Who wouldn't welcome a few thousand polite, cultured, educated, considerate, and honest Satmar Chassidim to their neighborhood?

10

 Jun 16, 2015 at 03:07 PM Annoyed Says:

Dov Hikind does not represent all frum Jews. Nor does he even represent all Jews in NYS. We don't need him and his strident tone of voice and egotistic attitude to speak for those outside his district. Let him focus on issues pertaining to BP and Midwood.
He just rubs me the wrong way with his know-it-all attitude.

11

 Jun 16, 2015 at 03:52 PM Rafuel Says:

Reply to #7  
Oyvey Says:

If they weren't chasidim, but any other group that had 8-16 children per family that so changed the neighborhood with minimal concern for the affect they were having on everyone else, you would be seeing the same reaction from the original populace.
Take out the word "chassidim" and replace it with "African-Americans" or "Irish" or anything else and put all the other details in and place yourself in the quiet, spread out, rural setting that existed there before Kiryas Joel came into existence. What would your reaction be?

My reaction would be "If they did it in a lawful fashion, there is nothing I can do about it and may very well accept it or move into a neighbourhood more to my liking." The reason we resist people you call "African-Americans" (even though they never call themselves that) moving into our streets is because they are sakona to our families, not because they have too many children.

12

 Jun 16, 2015 at 03:53 PM Anonymous Says:

exactly Marxism at its best.

13

 Jun 16, 2015 at 03:54 PM Rafuel Says:

Reply to #9  
yosher Says:

What's wrong? Who wouldn't welcome a few thousand polite, cultured, educated, considerate, and honest Satmar Chassidim to their neighborhood?

Your sarcasm at the expense of other Jews, whose shoes you are probably not worthy to shine, is improper.

14

 Jun 16, 2015 at 04:02 PM berelw Says:

the problem is these chevra dont know how to deal with the outside world. how would chevra feel if KJ would move in to your bungalow colony?

15

 Jun 16, 2015 at 04:43 PM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #9  
yosher Says:

What's wrong? Who wouldn't welcome a few thousand polite, cultured, educated, considerate, and honest Satmar Chassidim to their neighborhood?

Funny...it would be more so...except that your comment reflects a sad reality.

16

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