(December 18, 2019 / JNS) Calls for the resignation of a Jersey City, N.J., board of education member are mounting after she seemed to support the attack on a kosher supermarket and blamed Jews for the rise of hate in that city.
Joan Terrell made her hate-filled rant on Facebook in response to a Dec. 14 column on InsiderNJ titled “Faith and Hope to Fight Hate.”
The article was about a gathering of civic and faith leaders in the wake of the Dec. 10 attack on a Jewish market in the Greenville section of Jersey City that took the lives of six people, including two Chassidic Jews, in addition to the two attackers. Also killed were a store employee and a police officer who encountered the attackers shortly before they began their deadly rampage.
In an online post, the board of education member wrote, “Where was all this faith and hope when Black homeowners were threatened, intimidated and harassed by ‘I want to buy your house’ brutes of the Jewish community. … The $1M Make It Yours ads that appeared in New York City encouraging Jewish people to come to Jersey City did not fight hate.”
Terrell went on to say that “guns and drugs were planted in the Black community. Mr. Anderson and Ms. Graham went directly to the kosher supermarket. I believe they knew they would come out in body bags. What is the message they were sending? Are we brave enough to explore the answer to their message?”
In a post on Twitter, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said, “ … I’m not going to mix words. My opinion is she should resign. That type of language has no place in our schools and no place amongst elected officials. Imagine she said this about any other community—what would the reaction be? The same standard should apply here.”
The mayor, who is the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor, also said that he doesn’t think Terrell speaks for the community, noting that residents in the Greenville neighborhood have been “nothing short of amazing in the last week.”
In a statement, Evan Bernstein, ADL’s New York/New Jersey regional director, said “we are appalled by the reported comment of a Jersey City Board of Education Trustee on Facebook blaming Jews for last week’s horrific shooting attack on a kosher supermarket in Jersey City. These statements are deeply anti-Semitic and highly offensive to the victims. They also do not reflect the beliefs and values of the larger Jersey City community, which has come together in this time of darkness to support one another and to stand firmly against hatred and bigotry of any kind.”
At least one Jewish group is urging people to attend a Jersey City school-board meeting on Thursday night. Members of Americans Against Anti-Semitism, including the group’s founder Dov Hikind, a former NYC politician, are expected to demand Terrell’s resignation at the Dec. 19 meeting.
“We will not sit idly by as Jews are murdered and their blood tramped on by vile anti-Semites,” Hikind wrote on Twitter. “ … Join together and send a message that there’s zero tolerance for hatred!”
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