Demonizing Satmar

Demonizing Satmar

Max L. Kleinman should be criticized for the same reasons as N.Y. Mayor Bill de Blasio (As I See It, “Beyond the Pale: the deplorable parochialism of Satmar chasidim,” May 7). Kleinman used the fact that social distancing was not followed at a funeral to condemn 75,000 Satmars as evil people and “deplorables.”

From his “some of my best friends are  …” line (“I come from chasidic stock” and let’s “celebrate” Chabad) to his unsupported accusation that the demonstration against anti-Semitism in January was greeted with “indignation by the group’s leaders,” it is very surprising that a former federation leader would be so divisive and bitter. He writes that “members of Satmar are beyond the pale.” Really, all 75,000 of them? What about the two who were shot in Jersey City?

Kleinman, unfortunately, gives aid and comfort to those seeking justifications to hate our community. He uses the narrow social distancing issue (which has been violated continuously by de Blasio’s friends in Manhattan) as a broad opportunity to demonize the Satmar as “the other.” We need to distance ourselves from Kleinman.

Michael Kessel
West Orange

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