Clarification: The opinion piece below was in response to an earlier report, originally describing a petition and accompanying letter in opposition to the Lakewood Shopping Village. The Take Back Lakewood blog, which made the petition and letter public, has since corrected its own posts on the matter — the letter was sent anonymously and not paired with the petition, which does not cite reasons for its opposition to the shopping center.

This is a truly disgusting situation that most will be afraid to talk about because they want to be politically correct. In Lakewood the township's planning board was scheduled to vote Tuesday night on a proposed development of a 187,000 square foot mall to be called Lakewood Shopping Village. Now there's been a postponement. Why? Hundreds of bigoted Orthodox Jews are fighting this not on the basis of parking and traffic (Lakewood couldn't get much worse in that area anyway) but rather on the fear that non-Jews, or Goyim, will open up businesses. You can read Sergio Bichao's piece on this here.

In it you'll see that our newsroom obtained a copy of the petition against this and you'll see that traffic concerns are not even mentioned. What is mentioned? That "the presence and influence of non-Jews is terrifying." The 1,200 people who signed this filth ought to move out of this country because they clearly don't believe in our constitution. They want the planning board to deny a business enterprise based on religion. How disgusting that is. The irony here is that Cedarbridge Development Corp. that is behind this proposed project is owned by an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva.

Elsewhere in the petition it reads, “The yeshiva agreed to sign there will not be stores open on Shabbos, but it refused to sign that there will not be stores owned by goyim. It is clear that their only concern is rental income. If a non-Jewish owner is prepared to pay more will he be refused? Or will the excuse be given that it is against Civil Rights laws to prohibit a rental due to race, creed or religion.”

Really? So our constitution should not apply here? Backers of this petition clearly believe religious discrimination is only a cheap "excuse" if it's to protect anyone other than Orthodox Jews. These narrow-minded people who are complaining about non-Jews possibly opening businesses in the mall also complain that the mall's presence will lure boys and girls to hang out together. The petition talks about the mingling of boys and girls and the enticement of a pizza store or bagel shop.

Any Orthodox Jew who feels non-Jews should not be allowed to open a business in Lakewood is among the worst kind of Americans, filled with only his or her own self-interest and closed-minded to other religions. Shame on all of you who think this way.

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