🔴Resident Melissa Blanco commented at the Hoboken City Council on Wednesday
🔴 Mayor Ravi Bala said people attending the conference are expected to show respect
🔴 Blanco later tweeted that his comment was not inappropriate
HOBOKEN — Mayor Ravi Barra condemned anti-Semitic remarks made by residents in a public comment section directed at member Phil Cohen at Wednesday’s conference.
Resident Melissa Blanco first voiced her anger at the meeting over the failure to replace the canopy on 11th Avenue. She then began talking about previous votes to confirm Scott Pennington as City Court Justice and Benjamin Choi as City Court Chief Justice following the retirement of former Chief Justice Cataldo Fazio.
They are the first African American and Asian American respectively to hold these jobs. Blanco called the diversity “a bunch of idiots” and said Cataldo was a competent judge.
“It’s as diverse as all the people that have been plucked from the synagogues and all the synagogues that run the city of Hoboken,” said Blanco, who has had trouble with one of the judge candidates involved in his case. I have added my own.
City Council Speaker Emily Jabbar told Burano, continuing to speak, that his time was up, and two police officers approached him to remove him from the microphone. Blanco kept yelling from his seat as the public comment session continued on another issue.
Later in the meeting, City Councilman Phil Cohen, who said he was proud of his Jewish faith, said he was disappointed by the anti-Semitic comments directed at him by those who watched the video live. He said he received a message to clarify.
“There is no room for anti-Semitism in our community. Sadly, anti-Semitism is part of American political life today. You’ve seen Nazis marching in Rottsville, it’s wrong and it’s wrong.” I would also like to ask you to condemn it, and I hope that there will never be another incident like this here,” Cohen said.
After the meeting, Mayor Ravi Bala and Jabur issued a joint statement.
“Comments such as those made at City Council last night are unacceptable in our culturally diverse city, and all who attend public gatherings in Hoboken should behave respectfully and be elected. We expect to treat all who attend with respect, regardless of whether they are public officials,” and dignity,” they wrote.
The New York/New Jersey ADL said it was “disturbed” by Burano’s remarks and praised Barra and Jabbar’s accusations.
Blanco said on Twitter that her comments were not inappropriate, according to the Hudson County View. She linked her tweet to an article by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance entitled “What is Anti-Semitism?”
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