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February 6, 2020 3:52 pm

New Jersey Governor Praises Facebook for Removing Antisemitic ‘Rise Up Ocean County’ Page

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. Photo: Kevin R. Wexler / NorthJersey.com, NorthJersey.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

The governor of New Jersey on Wednesday praised Facebook for removing an antisemitic page based in his state and pledged to continue fighting hate online.

The page “Rise Up Ocean County” hosted antisemitic content in the context of a housing discrimination campaign waged by residents of the New Jersey county against large numbers of Orthodox Jews moving into certain neighborhoods there.

In response to Facebook’s move, Governor Phil Murphy tweeted, “Just learned that @Facebook has decided to take down the ‘Rise Up Ocean County’ page — 10 months after @NewJerseyOAG and I first expressed concerns about its racist & anti-Semitic content. We appreciate that @Facebook now agrees this hateful rhetoric has no place on its platform.”

“There remains much that should be done to stop the spread of hate on the Internet,” Murphy and New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a joint statement. “We will persist in demanding meaningful reforms to address the proliferation of hate online, and we will continue working to make New Jersey a safe and inclusive place for all our residents.”

The antisemitic content on “Rise Up Ocean County” included statements such as “I would trust a rat before a Hassidic” and “We need to get rid of them like Hitler did.”

In a December interview with Shore News, Jewish activist and philanthropist Dr. Richard Roberts accused the local government of Jackson, New Jersey, of antisemitism, saying it was “passing ordinances to block Orthodox Jews from practicing our religion, and harassing Orthodox Jews who are trying to pray.”

“The actions of Jackson Township have been atrocious,” he stated, asserting officials were “performing organized surveillance on Orthodox Jews.”

“Jackson Township emails reveal that Jackson Township officials and other employees knew Jewish praying times and staked out multiple blocks to count Orthodox Jews going into homes to pray at those times,” Roberts said.

“Township employees looked into home windows to see if Orthodox Jews were praying,” he added, “walked into the backyards of residential properties to see if Orthodox Jews were praying in a swimming pool hut or garage, checked license plates, and followed Orthodox Jews who were carrying ‘bibles.’”

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