JERSEY CITY — Mayor Steve Fulop and Gov. Phil Murphy are leading the calls for school board member Joan Terrell-Paige to resign after she referred to certain Jewish people as "brutes" in a Facebook post following a massacre that claimed the lives and three people at a kosher market and a police officer.

Douglas Rodriguez, Leah Minda Ferencz and Moshe Hersh Deutch were killed in the shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket on Dec. 10.  Jersey City police officer Joseph Seals was shot dead at a cemetery and was laid to rest on Tuesday.

The shooting happened in the city's Greenville section, which has a mostly black and minority population and has struggled with crime and poverty. In recent years it has seen an influx of both immigrants as well as Orthodox Jewish families moving from New York.

The post by Terrell-Paige, who is black, brought up the practice of "blockbusting," in which residents are aggressively and unscrupulously encouraged by salesmen to sell their homes.

“Where was all this faith and hope when black homeowners were threatened, intimidated and harassed by I WANT TO BUY YOUR HOUSE brutes of the Jewish community,” Terrell-Paige wrote in a post that is no longer publicly available.

Terrell-Paige wrote about the aggressive manner in which black residents are being intimidated and the "assault on the black communities of America."

Terrell-Paige also wrote, without elaborating, that "we learned 6 rabbis were accused of selling body parts." Some online commenters have pointed out that this might be an inaccurate reference to the anti-corruption Operation Bid Rig takedown in 2009 that snared Hudson County politicians as well as five rabbis charged with money laundering and a Jewish Israeli citizen who pleaded guilty to trying to illegally sell a human kidney. However, the statement also alludes to a persistent falsehood employed by anti-Semites to smear Jewish people or organizations as secret organ harvesters.

Terrell-Paige told Politico New Jersey that she did not remove the post and did not apologize for it.

She did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday morning.

In response to Terrell-Paige's comment, Fulop responded on Twitter that he was "saddened by the ignorance her comments demonstrate."  He said that "the African American community in Greenville has been nothing short of amazing over the last week helping neighbors."

Fulop also called for Terrell-Paige to resign.

"That type of language has no place in our schools and no place amongst elected officials. Imagine she said this about any other community - what would the reaction be? The same standard should apply here," the mayor wrote.

Murphy said on his Twitter account that Terrell-Paige should quit.

"We will not let anti-Semitism and hate go unchallenged in our communities," Murphy wrote.

 

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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