Which is it?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Which is it?

Not sure how many OtBB readers followed the link in Wednesday's entry, or paid attention to the content there, as no one has commented on this statement from an E³A spokesman:

"The suit, which was filed against the Vil­lages of Westhampton Beach and Quogue and the Town of Southampton, claims that all three have impeded efforts to erect an eruv. Although no specific monetary figure is sought, their success could produce a 'multimillion-dollar award,' according to Marvin Tenzer, president of the group that filed the suit...."

What does E³A actually want?

  • An eruv?
  • The big bucks?
  • Both?

As Ellen Foley famously sang to Meatloaf in 1977, "What's it gonna be, boy?"

Back before the disastrous August 13, 2008 "Informational Meeting" held at Hampton Synagogue, the eruv request seemed a not unreasonable one.

The more strident and vocal opposition seemed to be coming from, at worst, a small group of sheet-wearing goose-steppers.

In the best possible light, the grumblings were from a number of ill-informed folks getting their information via the traditional Westhamp­ton Beach method: "over the back fence."

Then came that well-intended, execrably im­plemented session at the Synagogue, which could not have gone more wrong if it had been designed by a strategist for the Third Reich.

As my good friend Glenn Dorskind, who had made the opening address, next day noted:

"I tried for Woodstock and it almost turned into Altamont."

Glenn's warm and sincere efforts went for naught, because by the time the next two speakers had finished, any local support for the eruv was dead, so thoroughly had the audience been alienated by the arrogance and didactic condescension from Joel Cohen and Rabbi Marc Schneier.

Shortly after that Arnie Sheiffer and Jack Kringstein organized Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv and provided perfect cover for even the worst anti-Semites to speak out: "Hey!, even the Jews don't want that thing here!"

While the Rabbi has kept his head down... ex­actly where is another matter... over the past 28 months, two members of the Village Board, Trustees Joan Levan and Hank Tucker, have cynically done their best to keep the "eruv is­sue" alive during election cycles.

(It worked in 2009, but not last year.)

Then came E³A with its current multi-pronged initiative... one target of which is Westhamp­ton Beach which has taken no municipal action in respect to eruvs since acceding to Rabbi Marc Schneier's request to withdraw the Syna­gogue's application in May 2008... and began carpet-bombing the Town with lawsuits.

And while it had always been assumed that it was about getting an eruv in place for the Orthodox-observant, Mr. Tenzer's remark adds a whole 'nother dimension to the E³A actions.

And in my mind's ear I can hear an exultant "Aha!" from one of the White Christian's Council members who two years ago insisted: "With Jews it's always about money."

Great move, Mr. Tenzer... add to the fear and distrust and you will yet see blood and ashes.


1. Hunt Marckwald said...

...straight from "How to win friends and influence people?"

Dunno... seems to be too much ego involvement here, and it's no longer just the Rabbi's.

2. Scarlett said...

Wow, Dean, you outdid yourself on this one - I will never again attempt to drink a liquid while reading your blog!!!

My blushes....

3. Hampton West said...

Not a smart move on Mr. Tenzer's part.

Wonder why he doesn't comprehend that he's just playing into one of the bigots' stereotypes.

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