By Dr. Asher Mansdorf

Simon and Garfunkel penned a tune many years ago that seems fitting as an introduction to the comments made at the April 4 Rockville Center Village meeting.

People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening…

And no one dared

Disturb the sound of silence…

The words spoken at the Rockville Center meeting were malevolent and dishonest on many levels. Each point can be refuted.

Of greater significance was the fact that the village trustees sat mute as the speaker spent nearly eight uninterrupted minutes building the basis for the board to enact legislation that would chill religious freedom. That was but a ploy to ghettoize Jews. What was unsaid was that Jews have their place and we have ours. Stay away! What was disparaged was a religion, the leaders of a religion, a school board, the residents of a Nassau locality, and her own neighbors, assuming that they too are as deeply biased as the speaker. The Roman Catholic Church was denigrated as well as it was implied that the Catholic diocese of Rockville Center would never allow the influx of Orthodox Jews.

As I sat stunned watching the YouTube video of the proceeding, I was astonished that not one trustee found it important enough to intervene during the message of hate. I found that “sound of that silence” deafening. My head pounded as I wondered if they were simply disinterested, incompetent, or complicit. Nature abhors a vacuum and so I filled their silence with my own thoughts. Were they cunning enough to have schemed together to present this anti-Semitic diatribe? Do they agree? Then the silence was punctuated by the mayor clearly voicing support.

“Fools” said I, you do not know

Silence like a cancer grows…

What was worse, the repugnant presentation or the silent acquiescence?

My daughter is named for my murdered aunt, my son for a murdered uncle, my niece for a murdered grandmother, and my brother for a murdered grandfather. My grandparents also must have thought to themselves, as the speaker did, “Not being able to raise my family in the town I grew up in is heartbreaking.” Of course, they didn’t have much time to think about it. Their generational neighbor turned them in to the SS, and then they were slaughtered. Silent neighbors are complicit in the perpetuation of bigotry.

But my words, like silent raindrops fell

And echoed in the wells of silence.

The Five Towns is not only a community that stills exists but is thriving. I am a representative of the school children of Lawrence who are flourishing in a beautiful cultural mosaic that is the Five Towns and that the speaker has chosen to abandon.

Was it the fact that our community includes 80 percent, or 1,858 public-school students identified as “economically disadvantaged” while Rockville Center (RVC) has but 13 percent or 454 students? It appears that the speaker and her neighbors have been successful in “keeping out” more than just Orthodox Jews.

I will leave you to ponder that fact….in silence.

Former NYPD Detective And Fire Chief D’Esposito Takes On Congress Run For Long Islanders

Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito kicked off his campaign for the Fourth Congressional District in his hometown of Island Park. The Councilman said that his service as a detective in the NYPD and his tenure as the Island Park Fire department chief, along with his work as a Town of Hempstead Councilman, have prepared him to serve the residents of the Fourth Congressional District. D’Esposito said that Long Islanders need a representative in Congress who is prepared to fix the nation’s broken economy, address soaring inflation, deal with energy and drug crises, tackle runaway crime, and confront the “criminal friendly” laws that have exacerbated the crime problem. The Councilman also said that he scheduled his campaign kick-off to provide an opportunity to protest cop-assassin Anthony Bottom’s scheduled speaking engagement at SUNY Brockport.

“I am proud to have been on the front lines for the safety of our communities as a detective in the NYPD and as the chief of the Island Park Fire Department,” said D’Esposito. “Those experiences, along with my work as a Town of Hempstead Councilman, have prepared me to take on the serious issues that are confronting neighbors in our area and across the nation. President Biden and extreme politicians in Washington have destroyed our economy, presided over crushing inflation, created an energy crisis that has curtailed our energy security, and failed to address the scourge of deadly drugs in our communities. I am ready to take on these issues for the residents of the Fourth Congressional District.”

“As a former NYPD detective, I also wanted to take this opportunity to register my total disgust and objection to a state governmental institution, SUNY Brockport, scheduling a convicted cop-assassin, Anthony Bottom, to speak before students,” said D’Esposito. “Cop killers have no right to ever see the outside of a jail cell, and I am calling on SUNY officials and the governor to intercede and stop this insult to anyone who cares about law enforcement officers, public safety, and human decency.”

D’Esposito observed that inflation has hit a forty-year high, noting that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased by 7.9% in February of 2022 over the past 12 months. He further noted that people cannot afford the runaway inflation, which has impacted Americans at the gas pump, the grocery store, at clothing stores, restaurants, and virtually every other sector of the economy. The councilman stated that inflation is effectively a tax on all Americans that needs to be brought under control.

“Inflation has increased every month during President Biden’s term in office,” said D’Esposito. “Americans have seen gas prices soar by 38% over the last year, and the cost of everything from groceries to clothing is skyrocketing too. The only response that the president and Democrats in Congress have to this inflationary spiral is to push an agenda of out-of-control government spending. I am going to Washington to fight for taxpayers.”

In the Town of Hempstead, Councilman D’Esposito has developed a reputation for providing real tax relief for residents. D’Esposito has cut or frozen taxes in each of the last four annual budgets passed by the Hempstead Town Board. What’s more, the Town has maintained all services and programs in full force, and they have even been awarded credit rating upgrades from Wall Street credit rating agencies.

“Washington needs a representative in Congress who has a proven record of delivering meaningful tax relief for tax-weary residents,” said D’Esposito. “I am the only candidate running for the Fourth District in Congress who has demonstrated that he is committed to real tax relief.”

The national drug crisis and rampant violent crime in New York are eroding the quality-of-life for neighbors on Long Island and throughout the country. D’Esposito said that he will use his experience as a crime fighting NYPD detective to develop strategies and legislative initiatives to tackle the problem. In addition, D’Esposito launched a Narcan training and drug education program that has been praised for its lifesaving potential. The failure of the Biden Administration to stem the flow of illicit drugs into the country and take down the gangs that peddle death on our streets is a problem that must be addressed. In addition, D’Esposito believes that the Department of Justice should play a role in staunching the epidemic of retail “smash and grab” crimes in our region.

“Giving law enforcement the tools that they need to win the war on illegal drugs is critical,” said D’Esposito. “Going after drug dealers, the gangs who peddle death, and the sources of illegal drugs needs the full attention of people like me who have been involved in the battle against drugs on a first-hand basis.”

D’Esposito said that the energy crisis and conflicts around the world are the direct result of weak leadership in Washington and poor energy policies from a directionless administration. In specific, D’Esposito indicated that President Biden has made our country energy dependent on regimes that have a history of hostility toward the United States because of his lack of leadership.

Finally, D’Esposito said that in the coming weeks he will be addressing other issues such as federal COVID policies and service cuts to the Northport VA Hospital. He did mention that he is adamantly opposed to service cuts at the hospital.

“Our country is in chaos as a result of the policies of President Biden and extreme socialists who have taken over the Democrat Party,” said D’Esposito. “Our very way of life is under attack and I am not going to let out-of-control politicians destroy the American Dream for residents of the Fourth Congressional District. I will take on the issues of a badly damaged economy, soaring inflation, directionless energy policies, rampant crime, and ‘criminal friendly’ policies. I’ve been a problem solver as an NYPD detective, a firefighter, and a town councilman. I am the only candidate that has delivered meaningful tax relief in government, and I am in touch with Long Island neighbors. I am ready to fight for the residents of the Fourth Congressional District in Washington.”

Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito has received the endorsement of Congressman Lee Zeldin (CD 1). Zeldin, the Republican and Conservative candidate for governor, indicated that D’Esposito will be a valuable partner in government as they collaboratively work to protect taxpayers and keep neighbors safe. The duo is committed to tax relief, fixing the broken economy, addressing the supply chain crisis, fighting violent crime, and dealing with soaring inflation, as well as tackling the energy and drug crises. 

“I want to thank Congressman Lee Zeldin for endorsing my candidacy for Congress in the Fourth District,” said D’Esposito. “With Lee Zeldin as our next governor and me in Congress, we will constitute a powerful force to protect taxpayers and keep neighbors safe.”

“Anthony D’Esposito is a proven tax fighter, having cut or frozen taxes in each of the last four budgets as a Hempstead Town councilman,” said Zeldin. “What’s more, his experience as an NYPD detective will ensure that residents have a knowledgeable and effective advocate for public safety at the federal level. I enthusiastically endorse Anthony D’Esposito in his bid for Congress in the Fourth District.”

During the councilman’s tenure with the NYPD, D’Esposito made almost 700 arrests, many of them associated with serious felonies including assault, drug dealing, and murder. As the chief of the Island Park Fire Department, he led Hurricane Sandy recovery operations in the Village of Island Park. Indeed, virtually every house in his hometown was flooded. On the Hempstead Town Board, Councilman D’Esposito has helped prepare four consecutive budgets, each of which have frozen or cut taxes for residents of America’s largest township. Finally, D’Esposito has spearheaded a drug awareness and Narcan training program, which has been applauded by law enforcement officials.

“Anthony D’Esposito has proven himself as a crime fighter in the NYPD, during his tenure as the Chief of the Island Park Fire Department and on the Hempstead Town Board,” said Zeldin. “He has kept neighbors safe, fought crime, is taking on the drug epidemic, cut taxes, and helped his community recover from a major natural disaster. Anthony D’Esposito is the best qualified candidate to be our next congressman in the Fourth District.” 

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