A Murphy administration appointee who serves as president of the Passaic NAACP criticized U.S. foreign aid to Israel on his Facebook page, the latest step in a growing divide between Blacks and Jews in the New Jersey Democratic party.
Jeffrey Dye, who works for the state labor department, retweeted a post from a pro-Palestinian Group protesting $4 billion in annual aid to Israel.
“This is a damn shame and disgrace. Somebody tell me for what?” Dye added on the NAACP Facebook page.
Asked if his position represented the view of the NAACP, Dye said it did.
“We disagree with it (aid to Israel) 1000%,” he told the New Jersey Globe.
The post disappeared from the Facebook feed shortly after the Globe reached Dye.
Other social media posts made by Dye have been heavily critical of the Latino community.
In one Facebook rant earlier this month, Dye said that controversial hiring at the School Development Authority was about “hiring all Latino family members and friends and excluding black people.”
Another August Facebook post by Dye criticized local officials for not naming a school after Sallie Gamble.
“They refuse to put a black woman’s name on the school,” Dye wrote. “Like dogs pissing on their territory that hasn’t done shit for nobody in Passaic.”
After losing five local races in the city of Passaic, Dye became president of the local NAACP chapter in January 2017.
“His election was at best unfortunate. He is divisive,” said Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), the City Council President. “He has not bordered but well-surpassed anti-Semitism. He has also made comments that were anti-Latino and anti-White.”
Schaer called Dye “an extraordinarily divisive and unwelcome person in the Passaic City politic.”
The Murphy administration hired Dye as the $56,088-a-year business representative for the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development in Passaic County in February, despite protests from some of the governor’s political allies.
“I was surprised when he was hired by the Department of Labor. It seems to me someone with those points of view should not be hired,” Schaer said.
It was Dye’s decision to honor Marcellus Jackson, who pled guilty to taking prices while serving as a Passaic city councilman, that led to Jackson’s termination.
POLITICO said that it initially learned of Jackson’s job through a Passaic NAACP invitation that identified Jackson as being a special assistant to the state Commissioner of Education.
Former Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, who served as vice president of the state NAACP, distanced herself from Dye’s comments.
“The NAACP continues to strongly advocate for fairness and the rights of all people,” Robinson-Briggs said.
She said that Dye’s Internet comments will be discussed at a state NAACP board meeting later this month.
Dye also used Facebook to accuse Passaic Mayor Hector Lora, a Murphy supporter, of discriminating against the Black community.
Lora said he disagrees with Dye’s position on Israel and his divisiveness.
“I renounce fully, I strongly reject all rhetoric and hateful positions against our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community as I reject all hateful and divisive speech against any community, Lora told the Globe.
Lora said he stands 100% in support of Israel and our Jewish Communities here and abroad and I fully support our Nations commitment to our Democratic partner and greatest ally in the Middle East.”
“As Mayor of Passaic I am proud to have such a wonderful and flourishing Jewish community in our city and I pray they continue to grow and prosper always,” Lora said.
In response to a news story that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was leading a congressional group to Ghana on the anniversary of U.S. slave trade, Dye said, “Taking us on another boat ride, no thanks, we’ll just take the money.”
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) has taken heat from fellow Democrats as the lone member of the New Jersey congressional delegation to vote against a bipartisan resolution opposing international efforts to boycott Israel.
The resolution was in opposition to the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Watson Coleman was one of 17 to vote against the measure, which passed the House with 398 affirmative votes.
Among the other House members who voted with Watson Coleman was Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), who has drawn fire for invoking anti-Semitic tropes in her criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group.
Omar introduced a resolution affirming that economic protests like those employed by proponents of the BDS movement are constitutionally protected. Watson Coleman is a cosponsor of Omar’s resolution.
Israel has viewed the movement as a threat.
Democratic mayors of two large municipalities in Watson Coleman’s district, Brad Cohen of East Brunswick and Gerald Tamburro of Monroe, slammed the congresswoman’s vote.
Former Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin, a former executive director of the New Jersey Israel Commission, was sharply critical of Watson Coleman’s vote and questioned the motive behind her action.
“The BDS movement is a euphemism for destroying the State of Israel,” Yudin told the New Jersey Globe. “By voting the way she did, without coming out and saying, ‘I want Israel destroyed,’ that’s what she did.”
Earlier this summer, Sussex County Republicans apologized for social media posts that were viewed as anti-Muslim.
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