Lakewood’s Haredim Behaving Badly – Again

Lakewood’s haredim, led by the powerful Va’ad and the haredi mayor, have ousted the township’s chief law enforcement official. The mayor refuses to say why he forced him out and still publicly praises the top cop. Non-haredim are up in arms, as they should be. The Asbury Park Press reports:

There were repeated outbursts from frustrated residents who demanded a reason why the leader of Lakewood’s police force was ousted from office.

There were calls for Al Peters to be reinstated as the township’s public safety director, a position that he was voted out of two weeks earlier.

And, Township Committeeman Charles Cunliffe — a Peters supporter — called for action.

"Let Al Peters fulfill his contract or go back to a chief of police," Cunliffe said during Thursday’s Township Committee meeting.

There was no resolution, though, as Township Committee members continue to debate what to do.

About 100 residents crammed into the clubhouse at A Country Place, an age-restricted community, where the controversial firing of Peters exposed feelings that often simmer below the surface in Lakewood. During the contentious meeting, those emotions boiled over.

With no clear answer for Peters’ firing, there was rampant speculation among residents that his ouster was the result of Peters’ unwillingness to grant special treatment to Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community.

There were also repeated suggestions that the Vaad, an influential group of Orthodox leaders, are pulling the strings from behind the scene.

Mayor Meir Lichtenstein, pounded his fist on the dais Thursday night, rejecting those suggestions.

Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg, a member of the Vaad, stood silently in the standing room audience, watching the scene.

"It’s a fringe group of belly achers," Weisberg said of the angry crowd.

Away from the boisterous meeting hall, a silent majority wants change in the police department, he argued.

"There’s a total lack of confidence that is felt by tens of thousands of people," Weisberg said.…

Those "thousands of people" are haredim, and the "total lack of confidence" is because of these incidents, all incidents where haredim acted badly, broke the law, got caught and then cried discrimination.

In a related story, "heimish" NYC emergeny medical technicians – i.e., Hatzoloh members – often complain about being stopped by police while out on calls with their lights falshing on their cars. Harassment, they cry! The NYPD claims abuses by private EMT services like Hatzoloh, with private EMTs using their lights and sirens to move through traffic to get to mincha on time or to the office for a meeting.

CBS-TV just caught one such person, this one a volunteer chaplain with the Port Authority, doing this:

You see it all over the city, an unmarked car with emergency lights
flashing trying to make it through traffic. But have you ever wondered
while you’re sitting in gridlock what the emergency was?

A
natural thought from drivers who on any given day deal with some of the
worst traffic in the country — average commute time 90 minutes — is
"this guy must be headed to a serious emergency."

Or is he?

CBS 2 caught up to one such unmarked car in a heck of a hurry.

Scott Weinberger: "Can you tell me what emergency your are responding to?

Man: "Excuse me?"

Scott Weinberger: "What emergency are you responding to?"

The
man’s name is Isaac Heschel. His official looking black Crown Victoria
is his personal car. However, the lights and sirens he admits he paid
someone to install.

Heschel is a rabbi who volunteers his time
as a chaplain to the MTA and Port Authority Police, but both agencies
said he has no right to have emergency lights, or drive like this.

Scott Weinberger: "Why do you have lights and sirens in your car?"

Heschel: "There are reasons for that sir."

We
first learned of Rabbi Heschel’s unusual driving habits from a home
video sent to CBS 2 by a member of law enforcement who wants to remain
anonymous. Sent with the tape was a note that claimed Heschel was
putting pedestrians and other drivers in danger.

We had to see for ourselves. So, on the ground and in the air we followed Heschel for days, and what we found was stunning.

At crosswalks he used lights to move pedestrians along. And if traffic gets too bad he drives the wrong way up a street.

Remember, he is not a cop. He is not going to an emergency.

Heschel
is actually a 47th Street diamond dealer with some multifaceted perks.
Not only does he get to take the fast lane to work, a sweet free
parking spot was always waiting for him. Heschel avoided tickets by
using a special parking placards.

Scott Weinberger: "Why don’t you use the same placard everyday?"

Heschel: "It’s a matter, uh … there’s reasons for it."

Scott Weinberger: "Can you tell me what they are?"

Heschel: "It depends what I’m doing that day."

It
was on the way to the Diamond District that day we saw Heschel’s
official looking car use the HOV lane to avoid a major traffic jam on
the Prospect Expressway.

When lights and sirens aren’t enough,
not even a tie up at the Lincoln Tunnel stops our reckless rabbi. The
lights flash; he gets out and actually moves several traffic cones, and
then drives past a Port Authority Police checkpoint without ever being
challenged.

Scott Weinberger: "What was the necessity for you to
use your lights, to remove cones, to go through a closed entrance of
the Lincoln Tunnel?"

Heschel: "Sir, I don’t think what I do I need to discuss with you."

While Heschel seemed unconcerned, others were.

"It
goes to show us that that we have some vulnerabilities from people who
pretend to be official emergency vehicles," former FBI agent William
Daly said. "They could be used to transport explosive devices."

Once Heschel realized what our cameras had captured he changed his tune and said he was sorry.

"We all make mistakes and when I make a mistake I apologize, and that’s basically what I’m saying to you," Heschel said.

Because
of his use of lights and sirens, both the MTA and Port Authority Police
told CBS 2 they have decided to part ways with Rabbi Heschel.

The God of haredim steals. The God of haredim lies. He cheats. He hates goyyim. He hates blacks and latinos. He hates gays. And He hates you. Stop feeding Him.

{Hat Tip for the CBS-TV piece: DovBear.]

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8 Comments

Filed under Crime, Haredim

8 responses to “Lakewood’s Haredim Behaving Badly – Again

  1. Anonymous

    “The God of haredim steals. The God of haredim lies. He cheats. He hates goyyim. He hates blacks and latinos. He hates gays. And He hates you. Stop feeding Him.”

    Seig Heil Seig Heil

  2. Nigritude Ultramarine

    Goyim are just stupid nincompoops.

    /Channeling chareidishe mindset
    //Nice job of giving goyim a פתח פה to hate Jews
    ///Oh, he’s a rabbi? Sorry, that’s O.K. then

  3. Nigritude Ultramarine

    One other thing. I used to think that הלכה should be the rule of the land in the State of Israel. I have since changed my mind. What happens in Lakewood everyday reminds me that the current crop of “leaders” cannot be trusted to be fair to ALL people.

  4. gross

    I guess Lakewood doesn’t realize that we’re in galus.

  5. Diane Reaves

    I am a resident of Lakewood, NJ, and yes, we were very disappointed in our elected Mayor as to why he refused to answer our simple questions. We certainly don’t appreciate the comments of Mr. Weisberg, calling residents “bellyachers” – Comments such as this will merely bring more division here – He should be trying to unite this community instead of dividing it with his insults to those who have elected this Mayor and therefore can hold him accountable for his actions which effect our community.

    I don’t believe that the Orthodox hate everyone else – I refuse to put a few bad apples into a basket which would spoil the rest. Thats unfair to those who do care about this community, and to those who are fair minded as well. We have heard that the VAAD has been threatening its community to “not speak up at any meetings or they will pull your children out of the private schools here.”

    I would like to believe that the mayor acted on his own with his recent decision; but when he openly refuses to explain his actions; what can we think? And now, we hear he is giving up his seat as of January. Why? Why leave early, he has just been RE-elected?

    We have more questions than we have answers. But we have placed these men in their positions, and therefore we have a rigt to hold them accountable for actions they take which reflect on what happens in this township.

    The BAD rumor that the township Inspectors are next on the list, had better be just that; rumor! Otherwise, these officials are in for a rude awakening! These men are doing a great job at improving the Quality of Life for every resident of Lakewood. Every single resident is entitled to a quality life here – every one of us. If they try to take them away or change them because they are doing such a great job; there will be much to deal with…

    We must find a peaceful, just way to deal with these issues fairly. No preferrential treatment should be allowed for any group; don’t care who they are! Not one is better than the other! Yah created each of us – not just some of us. I don’t see color, religion, income, or sex – but I do see the conduct of your heart and actions.

    d. reaves

  6. Lynn Celli

    Lakewood’s “problems” are unfortunately man made. Religion and ethic backgrounds are being used as smoke screens; for people to have an excuse for hidden agenda’s to be put into place.

    I believe in safety, the fair future of our children and the laws that are suppose to govern how we live here in America. As long as I’m able I will strive to protect our community.

    People from all walks of life can be “bad” and do illegal things. It isn’t because of his/her color, religion or race. To put it simply it’s what’s going on in their hearts and minds that hurt us “ALL”

  7. shmuel

    Stop electing charedim to public office and you’ll solve 90% of your problems.

  8. Diane Reaves

    shumuel,
    Why should we stop electing charedim to public office? Will that solve the many problems? I think not. Everyone has a right to serve in the public arena, no matter what their religion they hold. Isn’t that the fair way to run things? Giving all groups a voice?

    Fairness and justice have nothing to do with our religious affiliations. If your heart dictates to do wrong, then it shall. If you heart dictates to do right, it shall.

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