Tuesday, March 15, 2016

TR mayor clarifies and defends invasion remark

Responding to criticism Toms River Mayor clarified his remarks and said he has a lovely relationship with the Jewish community in Toms River. In a report from APP.com  "Criticized by Lakewood leaders for describing the efforts of Orthodox Jewish homebuyers to purchase properties in North Dover as "like an invasion," Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher defended himself  Tuesday, saying his comments were taken out of context. "Let's assume that I used that word," Kelaher said. "What I was referring to is the sworn testimony of neighbors in the North Dover area, who testified and used that term, that they feel like it's an invasion. That's the context in which I used it. The people who live there think that."
 
Kelaher was quoted in a story that appeared Monday on the Bloomberg news site, headlined "Orthodox Jews Set Sights on N.J. Town and Angry Residents Resist." The story describes the ongoing tensions in the township's North Dover section between homeowners and real estate solicitors who have been seeking properties for Orthodox Jewish families who want to move into the area. In the article, Kelaher is quoted comparing the tactics of some real estate solicitors to the block-busting practices used by real estate agents to convince white homeowners to sell in the 1960s by threatening them that African-Americans were going to move into their neighborhoods. "It's like an invasion," Kelaher says in the story.  "To suggest that I am anti-Semitic is ridiculous," said Kelaher, a Republican who in November was re-elected to his third, four-year term as mayor. "We have a lovely relationship with the Jewish community in Toms River." Read more at APP.COM

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