The National Jewish Democratic Council today criticized Richard Vasquez and the Rockland County Republican Party for continuing to condone a political ad seen as “deeply troubling, highly offensive, and inappropriate” to the Jewish community. The ad, which focuses on Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco and the issue of illegal housing, depicts Falco surrounded by Orthodox Jews as a narrator criticizes him for purportedly not enforcing current laws. The NJDC condemned the ad’s imagery, joining the Anti-Defamation League and calling on party officials to either edit or remove the ad.
“By depicting Sheriff Louis Falco surrounded by a group of clearly identifiably Orthodox Jews at the precise moment that the narrator charges him with refusing to enforce illegal housing laws, Richard Vasquez is placing an image in voters’ minds that the Jewish community is responsible for this issue. Furthermore, Lawrence Garvey, the chair of the Rockland Republican Party, defended the ad after receiving criticism from the Anti-Defamation League, deflecting concerns from the Jewish community rather than addressing them head on. The issue of grossly and dangerously overcrowded housing is a legitimate one, but the imagery used in this ad is offensive, over-the-top and completely inappropriate. We demand that Vasquez, Garvey and the Rockland County Republican Party to edit the ad to apologize to the Jewish community and remove the offensive imagery at once.”