BY CAROL MCILMURRAY
NEW CITY- Rockland County Legislature Aron Wieder called a press conference Thursday to address “The Jew in Rockland,” a Youtube video released on the Internet, days before Easter and Passover weekend.
Wieder addressed a crowd of about 13 press members and a few concerned citizens at the County Building to first-off deny rumors that he narrated the video. He admitted he was a friend of Benny Polatseck, member of OJPAC, Othodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, and narrator of the derogatory Youtube video, which has over 24,500 views on Youtube (at time of this publication) and likens Rockland County’s current political climate to the days of Nazi Germany. Yossi Gestetner was one of the other producers for the OJPAC project.
In recent years, local political agendas have turned to addressing alleged social services misuse and abuse by members of the county who are not properly reporting their income, or marital status to the State of New York.
“Many members of the community want the same laws to be applied to everyone, not just the Jewish population.” stated Jerry Staetlier, a local Rockland resident and concerned citizen.
Wieder cited the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights for paving the way for people to be “Free to embrace your lifestyle, your culture, your religion.” Wieder went on to state he would like Rockland County to be “ a gem in the Hudson Valley…a model of diversity.”
Weider conceded that it would be “very productive [for OJPAC] to remove the video,” but he refused to denounce it when repeatedly questioned by Richard Sena, 35-year Rockland resident, whose in-laws are Holocaust survivors.
Sena impassionedly told Wieder, “You don’t care about this country. You are ripping this country apart!”
Sena went on to tell the RCT that he was “deeply offended by the political motivations [of Wieder and OJPAC].” Sena continued, “this has nothing to do with [Judiasm], this is all about politics.”
When questioned about the contents of the video Wieder said he “would have used different imagery” and would not have likened Rockland County to Nazi Germany.
When Rockland County Times asked Wieder what imagery would he have used, he stated “the comments [on a Facebook page] Block the Bloc Vote.” Many of those comments are extremely derogatory toward the Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish community.