Is the Village Voice antisemitic?


By Melvyn Kohn
January 31, 2011
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The Village Voice, that bastion of all things far to the left of left, recently ran some articles on
bad landlords. It singled out Jewish landlords in a front page piece by Elizabeth Dwoskin; one wonders
if it will follow up with a report on bad Protestant landlords, or bad white landlords, or single out any other group.
So far, it is just us. We're bad.
Well, Ms Dwoskin might only have to look at the advertisements in her paper to find a bad non-Jewish landlord; and I do not just mean bad, I mean one who runs a building with swastikas on the doors, peeling paint all over, mice running between the feet of inspectors and spilling out of rubbish bins in which there are not lids - and legions of bedbugs, which leave this building on the mice, on the tenants, and in the rubbish.
Ms Dwoskin did not bother to attend the Housing Court session in which these problems and more - such as lack of hot water and unsanitary conditions - were brought up. Judge Kaplan, on the 10 of June, issued an order for there to be lids on rubbish bins, for the complainant's door to be fixed so as to fit and not allow in mice, and for the ceiling to be fixed so as to not allow in bugs; 90 days was the time limit. We are now at about 200 days, and no action, not even the placing of lids on the rubbish bins.
Ms Dwoskin might note that this building then retaliated against the complaining tenant four days after an article appeared in the Epoch Times (25 August, 2010) by starting proceedings against him for non-payment; which takes a lot of chutzpah - as the building never properly registered the units - and the tenant had agreed to pay once this was done. Clearly, as the building is charging the tenants more per cubic foot than the Trump Towers - more than chutzpah is involved here; what they are doing is illegal.
And it is dangerous. A city of nine million cannot afford to have one landlord flout the law and allow unhealthy conditions to endanger the health of its residents. The mice populate at will, and some will emigrate and find new haunts; the bedbugs leave on the bodies of the mice, and of the tenants, and in the rubbish - and easily find new places to suck blood. They can go without a meal for over a year, so they are perfect pest. They also breed at up to 200X a year per individual. It is estimated that 300 a day leave the Vigilant Hotel, located at 370 8th Avenue, and end up sucking the blood of new victims in the area; this is borne out by a map of afflicted hotels and residences in Manhattan, in which the Vigilant is more or less the epicentre. Ground Zero the locals call it.
So when it advertises in the Village Voice, it really shows the hypocrisy at this paper. What ethnicity or nationality or religion is/are the landlord(s)? It does not matter. I will only say they are not Jewish. This unkosher atrocity would never be permitted by any of us.
What needs to be done here is simple: enforcement of the laws in regards a proper registry of the room in question, if not all of them, and enforcement of the court orders. Asking a tenant to live in such a mess and pay more, or even anywhere near, what he would pay to Mr. Trump is an outrage. And allowing a landlord to ignore court orders but then ask the court to take such money from a tenant is again an outrage. Both issues need to be addressed; proper registry must be enacted and the orders enforced. Otherwise, the Vigilant will continue to breed bedbugs which are now affecting one in five Americans. These insects have found their way into all government offices in Manhattan, the Brooklyn DA's office, cinemas, upscale clothing chains, Nike footwear, and hundreds of hotels. The city, faling to deal with this, leaves itself open to lawsuits for negligence.
And the Village Voice, it leaves itself open to questions about bias in regards to ethnicity and favouritism in allowing one of its advertisers get off scot free. One wonders if there are bedbugs in their offices; if so, it is not our fault, but theirs' for promoting this disgusting hotel.

COMMENTS

jose (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 08:49

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-1 points

Do you refer to this piece:
http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-12-08/news/religious-slumlord/

Then why don't you mention it directly, quote some excerpts that you think are dubious and let people judge?

I read it rapidly and didn't see much to be criticised except the selection bias: it doesn't say if there is the same proportion of bad Jewish landlords in NY than can be statistically expected (ie if 50% of lanlords are Jewish, then one can expect 50% Jewish landlords among the top ten worst).

But being a bad statistician is not the same as being antisemitic. It could be argued that this person expects a better behaviour from Jewish landlords than from non-Jewish landlords (ie double standards) but this person has to know first that the proportion of bad Jewish landlords is statistically significant. There is no proof that this was the case. We are just dealing with someone who cannot get her maths right.


Yoni1

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 10:55

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2 points

"It could be argued that this person expects a better behaviour from Jewish landlords than from non-Jewish landlords"

Which would be antisemitic.


jose (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 10:57

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-2 points

Which would be antisemitic.

Was implied by my "(ie double standards)".


zair (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 11:09

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-2 points

What if you expected worse behaviour, would that also be anti semitic?


jose (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 11:56

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0 points

What if you expected worse behaviour, would that also be anti semitic?

Antisemitism works both ways, Hater zair! Expecting a better or worse behaviour is irrelevant. Expecting the same bad or good behaviour for all landlords is the norm.


zair (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 12:16

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0 points

So if their behaviour was worse you could quite rightly claim this and not be labelled anti-semitic?


mattpryor

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 12:18

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1 point

Read Jose's first comment.


jose (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 12:21

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-2 points

Read Jose's first comment.

Read? Don't ask too much of Hater zair!


Melvyn Kohn

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 20:24

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0 points

Jose - as top your first comment, does it not strike you that it is in its very nature an act of singling out Jewish landlords - as I said, they don't run pieces on Catholic, Buddhist, or even Moslem landlords; and in that last category, they could very well, as the backers of this 9/11 mosque project turned out to be some real slumlords in New Jersey. So why not do a feature on them?
And from the issues listed in their article, nothing they complained about compares to the Vigilant - none of the buildings pose an overall public health risk; and in the article, it is even mentioned that some of the problems are tenant inflicted so as to have something to complaing about in Housing Court. At the Vigilant, tenants clean up - and one, two, Chris Lugo and a former Marine named Max, got evicted - for cleaning!
Do you not see some validity to my points?


Melvyn Kohn

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 20:32

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0 points

Here's one comment from the article -

"After we published our list of the city's worst landlords, one of the questions we got was, "Why are there so many religious Jews on it?" What's your take on that?"

Well, my take on it is, as I noted in my post, that the Village Voice did NOT do anything about a non-Jewish landlord who advertised in the Voice; for those of you who do not live in the area and do not get the paper, it does not have a lot of Jewish landlord advertisers. In fact, it may have none; and it is not uncommon for papers to single out groups and companies that do NOT advertise so they may be cajoled into putting some money into the ads. That last is conjecture; but the FACT is that the Vigilant is a long term Voice advertiser - ads in the inside and regularly on the back page...
Further, were they to go up to North Manhattan and the Bronx they could find hundreds of non-Jewish landlords; I will check further on whether they get advertising from this sector, and if it was ignored with bias due to who advertises and who doesn't. Whatever their reason for singling out Jewish landlords - the minority of landlords in the city - it strikes me as an exercise in left wing anti-semitism - and I just might know a little about this, I live here, Jose. I have read the Voice since the '60s.


Yoni1

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 20:44

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-1 points

There used to be a good mayor in NY at one time. Currently, there seems to be one who may - I emphasise 'may' - be able to do some minor street cleaning, but is underqualified for anything beyond that.


jose (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 21:17

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-1 points

Jose - as top your first comment, does it not strike you that it is in its very nature an act of singling out Jewish landlords

No, if the landlords are Jewish. The only question is statistical. What proportion of landlords are Jewish in the area concerned. Maybe they are also the biggest landlords, which makes probabilities even worse. So the presence of many Jewish landlords in the top worst does not make them worse landlords. The conclusion may be wrong while the facts may be correct.
I don't expect you to understand such things, since maths were not your favourite subject in school.


Yoni1

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 22:25

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-4 points

Obviously logic wasn't yours, Jose.

Focusing on the Jewishness of the landlords, which is totally irrelevant

www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=define%3A+irrelevant&aq=f&aqi=...

to their qualities as landlords, is antisemitic.


jose (not verified)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 07:57

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-1 points

Obviously logic wasn't yours, Jose.

Obviously, you don't understand much of it, Yoni1.

Focusing on the Jewishness of the landlords, which is totally irrelevant

Even if 100% of the top worse were Jewish while they are 1% only of that group? Then maybe the 20% Jewish Nobel Prize while there are only 0.4% Jews are also non-significant. Exactly the same case put in a positive way.

I guess maths were not your favourite subject.


jose (not verified)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 08:06

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-2 points

Of course, 50% bad landlords being Jewish is quite normal if 50% of landlords in the area concerned are Jewish.
And if Jewish landlords are 80%, then it is rather good if there are only 50% among the top worse.
That is (part of) the analysis that wasn't made by the author. So her conclusions are stupid. But I doubt that she did that out of antisemitism. Rather ignorance of maths, which is probably not a problem for writing in the Village Voice.


Yoni1

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 09:34

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-4 points

Obviously, you don't understand any of it, Jose.

Focusing on the ethnicity of the landlords, whether Jewish, Finnish or Mongolian, is racist.

The landlords are private individuals. Their ethnicity is as relevant to their being landlords as whether they prefer beer or wine, follow basketball or football, or cheat on their wives.


Yoni1

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 09:35

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-3 points

I used to teach maths, by the way, Mr Patronising.


jose (not verified)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 09:53

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-2 points

Obviously, you don't understand any of it, Jose.
Focusing on the ethnicity of the landlords, whether Jewish, Finnish or Mongolian, is racist.

Just like for the Nobel Prize winners... We understand!

I used to teach maths, by the way, Mr Patronising.

2+2?


jose (not verified)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 10:54

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-2 points

Another 'racist' statement would be then to say that nearly 100% of deadly terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims.


jose (not verified)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 11:05

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-2 points

And of course, focusing on Arabs entering Israel (ie "profiling"), would be outrageous...

Well, I don't think so. But of course, I know my maths.


Melvyn Kohn

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:38

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2 points

Jose, how is it you seem to know so much about our school backgrounds and what we did with maths? Obvioulsy you are wrong about Joni, and as to me, I worked out base number theory just as a hobby, such as figuring out that base 17 would be a useful base number...it may only strike you as awkward...but to a mathematician there is beauty in this.
Maths were and are a strong point...so please, do not be patronising. Also, I am ni NY and get the Voice, so I know what I am talking about from a local perpective that I do not think you are privy to (even if you do speak Spanish and once spent some time in South America)...this is NY, and I know it well enough to have an opinion.
Ever been here Jose?


Watchful Iris (not verified)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:17

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3 points

Posner has been everywhere. He's a native French speaker, a native Spanish speaker and a native Greenwich Village speaker.

Psst Melvyn. Posner speaking Spanish and having spent time in South America is an in house joke. You mustn't believe everything you read on here.


Yoni1

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:31

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-2 points

"Another 'racist' statement would be then to say that nearly 100% of deadly terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims."

Oh, dear ... Psst, Jose, here is a newsflash: Islam is not a race, ethnicity or nation, it's a RELIGION / POLITICAL SYSTEM.


Yoni1

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:33

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-3 points

Interesting - at least two utter, complete, unmitigated wankers have marked down my statement that I used to teach maths. Well, I did. I studied physics, electronic engineering and maths at uni, and I have taught physics and maths at secondary school.

So, to those two total wankers: go take a long walk down a very short pier, losers.


Yoni1

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:36

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-2 points

Melvyn, if Jose didn't patronise everyone, I suspect that his obvious inferiority complex would become too much to bear. Perhaps we should humour him. Certainly, we should try not to mock the afflicted.


jandrsimonson (not verified)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 20:47

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0 points

Yonithan, teaching kids to scream pisher, tosser, wanker at every little upset, does not count as teaching physics and maths.


Yoni1

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 20:59

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0 points

Simonson, you utter moron, ask your remedial teacher to explain to you that I am not 'Yonithan'.


jandrsimonson (not verified)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 21:11

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0 points

Yonithan, it must have been quite a while since you taught pisher, tosser , wanker, utter moron. I mean physics and maths.

" remedial " is so non pc

how old are you ?

93 ?


Yvetta

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 21:49

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0 points

What a spiteful and now ageist antisemite you are, simonson. That the JC tolerates you and your filth is a disgrace.


Yoni1

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 21:54

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0 points

Remedial is a perfectly good technical term, but I don't expect an idiot like Simonson to know that: it requires an IQ above room temperature.
Oh, and I don't use the word 'pisher', you illiterate asshole.

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