Orange County, NY - KJ Annexation Dispute Rages On Through The Media
Orange County, NY - The war of words continues in Kiryas Joel as those on both sides of the annexation issue continue their debate in the public forum.
Members of the coalition of groups opposed to the dominate faction in the Satmar Hasidic village Kiryas Joel alliance took out an ad in today’s Times Herald Record supporting the opposition movement.
The full page ad calls allegations of anti-Semitism, which were heard throughout the public hearing held last week, “baseless” and “reprehensible” and emphasizes the Torah obligation for all Jews to live peacefully amongst their neighbors.
“Our neighbors have a right to voice their opinion regarding the annexation without the fear of being stigmatized as anti-Semitic,” reads the ad. “The proposed annexation will inevitably have an effect on their lives just as it will on those of us who reside in the Village of Kiryas Joel.”
The ad also expresses appreciation to Senator Bill Larkin, Assemblyman James Skoufis and Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, all of whom were instrumental in passing legislation at the state level to provide additional oversight to the annexation process, and to County Executive Steven Neuhaus who has been a vocal opponent of the planned expansion.
Calling for everyone involved to be open minded and to realize that the proposed annexation will have an effect on both the village’s residents and neighbors, the ad features a quote by President Ronald Reagan advising that peace is defined, not by the absence of conflict, but by the ability to resolve disputes peacefully and concludes with a prayer for the well being of government officials, those who protect our county and the words “G-d bless America.”
The discussion about Kiryas Joel also spilled over into a written dialogue between two assemblymen, Dov Hikind and Karl Brabenec. As previously reported on VIN News, Assemblyman Brabenec took his Brooklyn counterpart to task for his remarks categorizing the anti-opposition movement as anti-Semitic, in a letter that charged Assemblyman Hikind with being deliberately divisive and accusatory.
Hikind responded to Brabenec with a letter of his own that was also released to the media, saying that Brabenec’s assertion that he knew “the hearts of minds of all of the members” of his constituency was physically impossible and that perhaps Brabenec hadn’t yet arrived at the meeting when villagers loudly suggested that the Chasidic community should go “Back to Brooklyn.”
“They may as well have shouted ‘Back to Poland,’” wrote Hikind. “Either way, the applause couldn’t have been louder.”
Hikind also noted that while he himself was shouted down and booed by the opposition movement, those in favor of the annexation showed respect and restraint for all speakers throughout the five hour long June 10th meeting.
“It was a lesson in manners and tolerance for those whose hearts and minds you say you know so well who would not allow others, like myself, to speak without jeers and heckling. That’s not hatred? Perhaps you prefer extreme dislike. Either way, it’s just semantics.”
More of today's headlines“New York - The Nasdaq Composite index surpassed the 15-year all-time high it set during the peak of the dotcom bubble on Thursday as more data showed the U.S. economy...” New York - Nasdaq Breaks Record-high Set During Dotcom Boom “Shelby, NC - Authorities on Thursday arrested a 21-year-old white man suspected of killing nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South...” Shelby, NC - Charleston Massacre Church Suspect Caught in North Carolina