A woman’s antisemitic comments at a Rockville Centre meeting have drawn outrage from the community and political leaders.
The board was discussing a large menorah on the front lawn of a Marlboro Court home when town resident Michele Zangari gave a passionate plea to the board at the April 4 meeting.
“This is very emotional for anyone who lives through the transformation of the Five Towns, many of those people live in Rockville Centre now,” Zangari said. “It began exactly this way. Rabbis and their families purchased homes, creating small synagogues. Congregants then looked to buy property nearby.”
Zangari added: “I am asking you to amend the village code so that a synagogue cannot be on every residential street like they are on the Five Towns. Please believe me and other Five Towns transplants that it can happen because we watched it happen.”
In response, Mayor Francis Murray said he’s gotten emails from “concerned people.” Murray said he’ll bring in the village attorney for the next week’s trustees meeting to see what “law we have on the books [in] Rockville Centre and possibility what we can do to amend it. The board will be very concerned and look into it immediately.”
However, the reaction has been swift to condemn the woman. Gov. Kathy Hochul took to Twitter to call it “despicable and antisemitic rhetoric.”
State senator Todd Kaminsky said: “The trope of ‘Jews taking over’ has been a hallmark of white supremacy for ages.”
Congressman Tom Suozzi, who is running for governor, tweeted that the remarks were “inappropriate and hurtful.” He added: “Regardless of the intent of the speaker, the remarks are antisemitic and must be called out.”