Friday, November 18, 2005

Preferential Treatment in Lakewood

Here's a pretty harsh article by the chairman of the Lakewood Improvement Association. He makes some interesting points. He's right about how the community has completely segregated itself and wants to have no contact with the outside world. It's true, for the most part, that the only contact they have with non-Jews is when the latter does menial work. It's true the schools are exclusive. It's true the community has political power that they sometimes can exercise to get what they want (although the Jewish community would tell you the police is out to get them). It's true that Jews are going to go all out to buy from a fellow Jew, even at a higher price. And it's true that some people in the community have no qualms cheating the government out of tax dollars.

But some of the complaints are way over the top. He's complaining that the prices of the houses are going up? People really are upset that they can sell their house for three times what they bought it? Here's an example that stinks a little too much of anti-Semitism:

"By allowing this to continue, by 2010 the demographics will have shifted so greatly that what once was a racially and socially diverse community will be a predominantly Orthodox Jewish community."

No one is stopping non-Jews from moving in. It's just that Jews are willing to pay the high prices for houses. Jews are willing to overpay for businesses. What's wrong with the market working itself out? Why can't Jews move together? Must every community be diverse?

Our children are affected due to the private schools that exclude the rest of the children within the community.

I don't get it. Private schools are private. They don't have to let everyone in. No one is stopping the non-Jews from starting their own schools.

they have lived here for any substantial amount of time, they know that businesses are being bought. People are offered money to move out of their homes.

How terrible! People are actually offering other people money for their houses? We have to find a way to stop this.

Hotels, motels and restaurants that were once community-owned and community-cherished are now solely the property of the Orthodox community to do with as they please.

Are non-Jews denied a room at these motels or a table at these restaurants?

Overall, he makes some good points. It's correct, certainly from his perspective, to bemoan the lack of cohesiveness in the community. It's OK for him to criticize illicit uses of political power. But it seems like he has a problem with the community becoming excessively Jewish. What exactly is his solution? Stop letting Jews by houses? Kick Jews out? I fail to see where this is going.

Update: Forgot about the best part:

"...and that they don't defile their sick with the blood of our sick."

I think LkwdGuy says it best:

"Exactly. Except before Pesach when we use your blood for our matzah."

No comments: