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I didn’t think anything could be more offensive than the anti-semitic flier circulated about Josh Gottheimer, but Alfred Doblin managed to prove me wrong

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file photo by Boyd Loving

Jewish Constituents on The Record’s Hateful Editorial: What They’re Saying

Hackensack NJ, In response to The Record’s hateful editorial published this morning comparing Garrett for Congress Campaign Manager Sarah Neibart to a Nazi, Jewish constituents across New Jersey are speaking out.

Michael Celler, Former Jewish Liaison, Office of the Governor, Livingston, NJ: “I didn’t think anything could be more offensive than the anti-semitic flier circulated about Josh Gottheimer, but Alfred Doblin managed to prove me wrong. I was sickened when I read his comparison of a young Jewish woman to a Goebbels-esque Nazi, it is the most hateful thing Doblin could have said about a Jewish person. As the grandson of four holocaust survivors, I’m appalled by his words, and he should immediately apologize for his disgusting comparison. There is enough anti-semitism in the world, we don’t need more of it perpetuated by Editorial Writers who don’t have a clue.”

Yitz Stern, Teaneck, NJ: “While I have no interest in debating the pros and cons of either candidate in the 5th Congressional District racetomorrow, I do find it appalling that the Record’s Editorial Page Editor chose to make a shameful comparison between how the Nazis spoke back when they were rearing their ugly head and what a young Jewish woman said when she rejected a hateful and unattributed anti-Semitic flyer that was circulating.  I have the privilege of working on Holocaust education with K-12 educators throughout the State. I can assure you that Mr. Doblin’s comments are not the type of message we want to disseminate to our children. Let us remember that when we commemorate Kristallnacht the day after Election Day.”

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Teaneck, NJ: “The accusation directed at Sarah Neibart by Alfred Doblin comparing her to Nazism is despicable and beyond the pale of public discourse, and it should be immediately repudiated.”

Councilman Mark J. Schwartz, Teaneck, NJ:  “As a Bergen county resident, a local Teaneck councilman, and most importantly as a Jew, I find it outrageous that The Record would publish such a nasty and defamatory article comparing Ms. Neibart to murderers and war criminals. When I heard that The Record was bought by a national company, I was hopeful, and still am, that perhaps the slanting would straighten up – and we, as Bergen county residents, would receive honest and impartial reporting that we deserve.  It appears though that The Record models themselves after the New York Times, and not the Wall Street Journal. I am demanding that Alfred Doblin apologize to Ms. Neibart, and encourage him to explain why he chose to submit this article mere hours before the polls open on Election Day.”

Mark S. Levenson, West Orange, NJ:  “I was appalled and disgusted by Alfred Doblin’s editorial in today’s Record that compared Sarah Neibart’s statement to “exactly what the Nazis would say.” Doblin’s point could well have been made without trying to drag a person I know  (and respect) through the mud with an out-of-bounds outrageous character assault.   The race for the fifth Congressional District has not distinguished itself for its civility, but to lay the blame on one side–the side Doblin vehemently  disagrees with– is wrong.  Doblin is entitled to trumpet his political views and preferences, but gratuitously throwing “Nazi” barbs at a granddaughter whose family fled Nazi-occupied Europe is beyond the pale.  Trying to justify this by stating that his (Doblin) family also fled Nazi-occupied Europe does not undo the damage done. An apology is owed to Sarah Neibart, and in the same space as was offered up the hurtful insult.”

Ms. Neibart penned an open letter to The Record editor Alfred Doblin regarding his editorial, which can be read below:


I think there’s no doubt we can all agree that this election season has crossed the Rubicon in terms of political rhetoric. But Monday, November 7, 2016 completely changed my world. That’s the day The Bergen Record published my name and called me a Nazi for questioning whether Democratic campaign operatives were involved in a disgusting political stunt. The only reason you’ve attacked me is because I’m a female Republican supporting Congressman Scott Garrett, a man that you’ve chronically made your target of editorial ire.

As a professional political operative, I’ve been astounded at the political tactics of Josh Gottheimer’s campaign throughout this race. Their name-calling began early, as they manipulated the Congressman’s policy stances to paint him as a bad person. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this, as the Left often assumes that if Republicans were smarter or better people, we’d be Democrats, but this was an operation unlike any other. They started by using words like “bigot,” “extremist,” and “racist.” They absurdly alleged that my candidate supports domestic terrorism. They photoshopped a government document in order to allege the Congressman was under investigation for bribery. They’ve even claimed he hates puppies and kittens.

Today, your editorial adopts a tactic straight out of the playbook of these Democrat operatives – just as they protested businesses and people supporting Scott Garrett in order to bully them out of their political positions, you have called me the worst name imaginable, just because of my work for him.

Last week, things reached an unbelievable new low. A flyer was circulated depicting our challenger, Josh Gottheimer, as the devil. We first found out through a media inquiry, and when I saw the image, I felt a sickness in my stomach. This disgusting, hateful flyer enraged me and is not something our campaign would ever, ever consider distributing or condoning. The majority of our campaign staffers are Jewish, as am I. These flyers had been reportedly distributed everywhere – on cars, in train stations, on trees, and in elementary schools. School children had seen this horrific image.

One thing was overwhelmingly clear to me. The distribution of this flyer – though it looked crudely made – seemed like it came from a pretty sophisticated operation. It just didn’t seem feasible that it came from one unhinged lunatic supporter of our campaign. And it was suspicious to me that the Gottheimer campaign “found” these flyers first and alerted the media – and that none of our supporters throughout the community had seen them, and no one in the media had independently seen them before Gottheimer’s press release.

In your editorial this morning, you published my name and my statement suggesting that Gottheimer’s campaign had distributed these flyers. And then you said, “This is — whether Neibart was aware or not — exactly what the Nazis would say.”

You don’t know me, Alfred, but let me tell you about a few things of which I’m “aware.”

I’m “aware” of the persecution that Jews have faced all over the world, simply because of our faith. I’ve stood in a gas chamber in Poland and seen the nail marks down the wall. I’m “aware” of how people are systematically murdered for their heritage or their beliefs. I lived in Egypt under the oppressive government of the Muslim Brotherhood. I’ve been to Rwanda and seen the aftermath of those atrocities. We must be vigilant against hatred, but that conversation is completely separate from whether or not I believe Josh Gottheimer’s campaign would be so insidious as to fake an anti-Semitic flyer and then put out a press release feigning moral outrage.

My statement calling for an investigation into the origins of this flyer didn’t come from any ignorance about the history of my own heritage, it came from my experience as a political operative and my knowledge of Josh Gottheimer’s campaign. Democrats and liberal special interests across this country have taken every vote Congressman Garrett has ever made – whether it’s about protecting the First Amendment or reining in out-of-control spending – and manipulated them to expand the false narrative of the Congressman being hateful and out of touch with the Fifth District, despite repeatedly being elected as their Congressman. Why is it unreasonable for me to assume that a flyer no one in our network knew about was from the Gottheimer campaign? I believe that the Gottheimer campaign thinks that their current charges of bigotry and racism aren’t sinking in, and they wanted to do something to make sure they win Bergen County. You have stayed silent as Gottheimer’s campaign attacked Congressman Garrett’s faith, and yet you use my questions about Democrat campaign tactics as a weapon against me. This demonstrates that not only do you have a political agenda aimed squarely against Congressman Garrett, you are an intolerant man who refuses to recognize that other people are entitled to their own political ideologies without being labeled as racists, bigots or terrorists.

Alfred, you’ve lost the moral high ground to denounce this cycle’s political rhetoric, and you no longer get to call anyone else a bully, as you’ve smugly taken pleasure in doing over the past two years. This election will be over tomorrow, but you have to live with the fact that you cheapened the suffering of both of our families at the hands of cruel men committing unspeakable atrocities – all to make a political point.