I’m not generally a very opinionated person, but the developments coming out of Toms River have me scratching my head.
After campaign flyers deemed anti-Semitic in support of incumbent Mayor Mo Hill were sent to homes, a slew of officials and organizations condemned Hill, including Agudath Israel. But what struck me as bizarre and hypocritical was the condemnations that came from two people: Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore and Toms River Councilman Justin Lamb.
Back in 2021, blatantly anti-Semitic flyers were distributed on behalf of Dan Rodrick, who is also now running for mayor. Who was Rodrick’s running mate then? Justin Lamb. Did he say a word about the flyers, which unflatteringly depicted an Orthodox Jew? Not that I know of. In fact, if you look at those flyers, it shows that they were sent out by Lamb’s own campaign! So two years ago Lamb was okay with Rodrick’s (or really his own) anti-Semitism, but now Mo Hill’s anti-Semitism is bad and should be condemned? What a joke.
What about Geri Ambrosio? She was the president of the club that Lamb and Rodrick were both members of. So now she’s the angel because someone else also was aware of and didn’t stop anti-Semitic flyers???
To be clear, this isn’t a defense of Hill’s campaign mailers. But to watch Lamb now wring his hands about antisemitism smacks of hypocrisy.
But Gilmore is even worse than Lamb and Ambrosio. In 2021, it was the Ocean County chairman who was funding the Rodrick and Lamb campaigns. Gilmore gave the campaigns the money needed to pay for those blatantly anti-Semitic flyers! Now George has the chutzpah to condemn someone else about anti-Semitic flyers? Now he’s the hero stepping in and saving us? He is responsible for the most reprehensible anti-Semitic campaign mailers in Toms River history! Don’t believe me? Look at these financial disclosures (see them here and here).
If he wants to condemn Hill, that’s fine, but he first should come clean about his connection to Rodrick’s 2021 anti-Semitic flyers.
And of course, there’s a political angle to what Gilmore is doing. He’s a funder of Geri Ambrosio, who is running against Mo Hill for the Republican nomination. So now that it suits him to condemn anti-Semitism, he’s doing so. You’re two years late, George.
And, by the way, it’s not just Toms River where Gilmore is responsible for moves against Orthodox Jews. You know all those lawsuits in Jackson alleging discrimination by the township against Orthodox Jews? Gilmore’s law firm, Gilmore & Monahan, was the architect behind the discriminatory ordinances and policies that got Jackson sued in the first place!
Look, if Gilmore wants to condemn anti-Semitism, I applaud that. But spare me the heroic tale of how he is standing up for Orthodox Jews. He’s not; he just sees a political opportunity. Spare me the crocodile tears, George.
A Baffled Resident
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