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Rochester Jewish leaders say anti-Semitic letter, cartoon are ‘deplorable’

todayMarch 22, 2024 4

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Leaders of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester thanked members of the Monroe County Legislature for condemning a recent political cartoon.

That cartoon, sent in an unsigned letter with the unauthorized use of both the Green Party of Monroe County and the Party for Socialism and Liberation Finger Lakes logos to local leaders, targeted the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, as well as Monroe County Executive Adam Bello.

Monroe County Legislature, Green Party responds to anti-Semitic mailing

The letter was sent on March 12. A statement from the Green Party of Monroe County explained the cartoon and letter were “created by someone who at the time was registered as a Green but had no authority to represent the party.

Thursday, those who spoke wanted to address what was mailed out, but also acknowledge what they say is a rise in antisemitism in Rochester.

“That cartoon was vile” Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester CEO Meredith Dragon said. “And the message in it was harkening back to tropes that we as a Jewish community have been defending for centuries.”

Calling it “deplorable,” the Jewish Federation says a letter and cartoon mailed to local leaders is a step in the wrong direction.

“It does not represent what this Rochester community is about. And it’s deeply despicable,” Dragon said.

The letter used “antisemitic trope and misrepresentations demanding that Monroe County no longer display the Israeli flag in front of the County Office Building in support of the victims of an incident overseas in Israel on October 7.

Included in the letter, was a cartoon depicting Monore County Executive Adam Bello, Meredith Dragon, and Temple B’rith Kodesh Executive Director Michael Yudelson.

Yudelson saying in a statement, “[the cartoon] is drawn so offensively that it can’t be displayed in most public mediums.”

“It just really went beyond the pale,” Yudelson said. “This has to be called out every time that it happens.”

25 out of the 27 Monroe County Legislators accepted an invitation to be listed in support of the Monroe County Legislature’s press statement. Something Yudelson says was pleasing to see in a time of disturbance.

“We will continue to do the same thing. At the County, the flag is going to continue to fly. The County Executive has made that clear. And we’re going to continue to stand up and speak out,” Yudelson said.

A statement from Monroe County Executive Adam Bello says “It angers me to see the upswing in hate speech targeting Jewish people and anyone supporting the right of Israel to exist as a nation… As a community, we welcome all points of view and embrace open discussion with civility and respect. The letter and cartoon reflect neither of those things.”

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Leaders of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester thanked members of the Monroe County Legislature for condemning a recent political cartoon.

That cartoon, sent in an unsigned letter with the unauthorized use of both the Green Party of Monroe County and the Party for Socialism and Liberation Finger Lakes logos to local leaders, targeted the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, as well as Monroe County Executive Adam Bello.
Monroe County Legislature, Green Party responds to anti-Semitic mailing
The letter was sent on March 12. A statement from the Green Party of Monroe County explained the cartoon and letter were “created by someone who at the time was registered as a Green but had no authority to represent the party.

Thursday, those who spoke wanted to address what was mailed out, but also acknowledge what they say is a rise in antisemitism in Rochester.

“That cartoon was vile” Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester CEO Meredith Dragon said. “And the message in it was harkening back to tropes that we as a Jewish community have been defending for centuries.”

Calling it “deplorable,” the Jewish Federation says a letter and cartoon mailed to local leaders is a step in the wrong direction.

“It does not represent what this Rochester community is about. And it’s deeply despicable,” Dragon said.

The letter used “antisemitic trope and misrepresentations demanding that Monroe County no longer display the Israeli flag in front of the County Office Building in support of the victims of an incident overseas in Israel on October 7.

Included in the letter, was a cartoon depicting Monore County Executive Adam Bello, Meredith Dragon, and Temple B’rith Kodesh Executive Director Michael Yudelson.

Yudelson saying in a statement, “[the cartoon] is drawn so offensively that it can’t be displayed in most public mediums.”

“It just really went beyond the pale,” Yudelson said. “This has to be called out every time that it happens.”

25 out of the 27 Monroe County Legislators accepted an invitation to be listed in support of the Monroe County Legislature’s press statement. Something Yudelson says was pleasing to see in a time of disturbance.

“We will continue to do the same thing. At the County, the flag is going to continue to fly. The County Executive has made that clear. And we’re going to continue to stand up and speak out,” Yudelson said.

A statement from Monroe County Executive Adam Bello says “It angers me to see the upswing in hate speech targeting Jewish people and anyone supporting the right of Israel to exist as a nation… As a community, we welcome all points of view and embrace open discussion with civility and respect. The letter and cartoon reflect neither of those things.” Read More NewsRochesterFirst  

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