Rockland County Anti-Semitic Covid-19 Social Media Posts

A medical worker directs a patient to enter a COVID-19 testing site at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo sounded his most dire warning yet about the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, saying the infection rate in New York is accelerating and the state could be as close as two weeks away from a crisis that sees 40,000 people in intensive care. Such a surge would overwhelm hospitals, which now have just 3,000 intensive care unit beds statewide. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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Over the past few days, ADL and the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County have seen a number of very concerning and highly antisemitic social media posts arising out of Rockland County. This dangerous rhetoric has resulted in a heightened sense of fear and distrust among residents as well as calls for different treatment towards the Orthodox community in relation to other residents in Rockland County in light of the release of COVID-19 data. In response, ADL and the Federation have released the following statement:

“All of us in Rockland County – residents, community leaders, and elected officials – are facing this public health crisis together. The scapegoating and finger-pointing that we have seen in recent days, coupled with a surge in antisemitism online, serves no purpose other than to distract and divide us. Now is the time for unity, not for placing blame. We call on all people of good faith to reject the blatant antisemitism arising out of Rockland County, to rely only on data that is valid, reliable and accurate, and to heed the advice of medical professionals,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL Vice President, Northeast Division. “Rockland County is a strong and resilient community, but only when we work together.”

“This crisis touches every single person in our county, state and country,” said Gary Siepser, Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County. “In these challenging times, it is vital that we come together to ensure that facts and statistics are used to educate the public in order to keep people healthy – not to point fingers or perpetuate hate.”

“There is absolutely no excuse for public health data to be used in a way that perpetuates antisemitism or hatred,” said Steve Gold, Co-President, Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County. “We are all in this together and it is important to remember that viruses do not discriminate, and neither should we.”

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