Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) had strong words this evening for the people attempting to block the Village of Kiryas Joel from annexing land. At a public hearing on the issue of annexation held at Beis Ruchel Paradise in Monroe, Hikind spoke for several minutes to the huge crowd.
“This is about one thing,” said Hikind. “Orthodox, Chassidic Jews are not wanted.
“It’s nice to watch democracy at work. It’s not nice to hear an undertone of hatred.
“This isn’t about Jews—it’s about Jews who look like the people here, with beards and side curls. They’re ‘different’ because they don’t socialize the same way. Some people have a hard time with that. That’s really what it’s all about. It’s not about annexation—it’s about halting the spread of Hassidic, Orthodox Jews. That’s what they’re scared of.
“If the [proposed] expansion was about people who look like them—Italian, Irish, Reformed Jews, Conservative Jews—they would not be as vociferous as they have been tonight.
“I voted against this legislation because it’s not about the State of New York, even through it’s a State bill—it was directed specifically at the Orthodox, Hassidic Jews of Kiryas Joel.”