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January 5, 2014 11:51 am

Outrage Over New York Post Coverage of Tragic Death of Kidnapped Chasidic Jew

avatar by Joshua Levitt

The controversial New York Post cover, on Sunday, January 5, 2014. Photo: Screenshot / Facebook.

The controversial New York Post cover, on Sunday, January 5, 2014. Photo: Screenshot / Facebook.

The New York Post came under heavy criticism for its coverage of the tragic death of  Menachem “Max” Stark, a Chasidic Jew kidnapped on Friday morning, then discovered dead, burnt and buried in a dumpster on Saturday.

The newspaper’s front page on Sunday featured Stark, in traditional dress, including a streimel, a fur hat, and kapote, a satin black coat, beside the headline, “Slumlord found burned in dumpster: Who didn’t want him dead?”

Jews took to Facebook and Twitter early on Sunday to call for a protest against the Post.

“Guys! The path that the New York Post took towards us is hateful, outrageous, & unacceptable!” Don Stern, a musician, wrote on Facebook. “They need to hear it from us otherwise it won’t stop, so take a moment & email them & demand them to stop the blind hate.”

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A page entitled, “Condemn the NY Post for Sundays Cover Page,” has attracted over 1,000 “likes” in a few hours. Stern’s comment was made on a post entitled “Is murder a good thing??!!”

Avraham Berkowitz, a senior Chabad rabbi, tweeted, “Is @nypost giving the at large killers of Menachem Stark the green light to kill their next contract victim.”

YossiW, another Twitter user, said “Dear NYPost. Its me Bin Ladin. What could I’ve done more to deserve such a nice cover like menachem stark. Shame on U@nypost #StopNYPostHate.”

Yaacov Behrman, executive director of the Jewish Future Alliance, told The Algemeiner on Sunday, “Eight young orphans watched their father buried last night. They will surely hear the details of his death once they return to school. Young innocent children!”

“If you don’t respect the dead at least have some respect for the family. I feel like the media came very close to legitimizing his murder,” he said.

“I am deeply disturbed by the cover of the NY Post this morning with the headline ‘who didn’t want him dead.’ Here’s someone who didn’t want him dead,” Behrman said referring to himself, as well as any of the dead man’s sons.

In a statement, New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind condemned the story. Hikind said, “I understand that the New York Post wants to sell papers and that they are willing to sacrifice the standards of propriety from time to time. But there is a difference between bad taste and just plain indecency.”

“The pain that this headline caused to not only a man’s family but to the entire Jewish community is indescribable and was so unnecessary.  It was a heartless act that should never have been allowed. It was truly beneath contempt,” the Jewish lawmaker said.

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