update deskAntisemitism

Decrying man who won’t work for Jews, New Jersey AG cites Islamophobia

The director of the state's civil-rights division also mentioned "anti-Muslim acts of hate and bias" and "our Jewish and Muslim residents."

In a statement denouncing a New Jersey man, who said that he would not work for Jews, the state’s attorney general and the director of its civil-rights division appeared to suggest that antisemitism requires Islamophobia and “other forms of bigotry” as a chaperone.

Matthew Platkin, the state’s chief prosecutor, and Sundeep Iyer, director of New Jersey’s civil-rights division, announced on Nov. 30 that the division issued a violation notice to Melquisedec Francis.

Matthew Platkin
Matthew Platkin, the attorney general of New Jersey. Credit: Andrew Bruck/official portrait.

Francis stated on TaskRabbit and other platforms where people sell their services that “he would not provide services to Jewish patrons in at least three online communications in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination,” the state officials wrote. In one, Francis wrote, “I am currently not offering my services to the Jewish community.”

“There is no justification for denying services to members of the public based on antisemitism, Islamophobia or any other kind of discrimination,” Platkin stated. “We are committed to holding anyone who engages in discriminatory practices accountable.”

“As antisemitic and anti-Muslim acts of hate and bias continue to rise across our state, make no mistake: We will take enforcement action swiftly to ensure that the civil rights of all of our residents, including our Jewish and Muslim residents, are protected,” Iyer stated.

Nowhere else in the official state press release was there mention of any relevance of Islamophobia to the case of the man denying services to Jews.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Francis is a contractor in Paterson, N.J. In a post on the site, he claimed not to support Hamas nor Israel, and that he didn’t deny services to Jews.

“I was taken off the platform for saying that in order to protest the war in Gaza, and until the war in Gaza comes to a conclusion, I won’t confirm job requests from the Jewish community,” he said. He added that his being unemployed and with no means of self-subsistence “will change nothing about the atrocities of the world.”

“Our same-day service platform instantly connects you with skilled taskers to help with cleaning, furniture assembly, home repairs, running errands and more,” TaskRabbit states on its website.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates