Statement from Assemblyman Dov Hikind
Re: New York Post Cover Caption and Photo “Who Didn’t Want Him Dead”I understand that the New York Post wants to sell papers and that they are willing to sacrifice the standards of propriety from time to time. But there is a difference between bad taste and just plain indecency.
The pain that this headline caused to not only a man’s family but to the entire Jewish commuA virtual avalanche of negative backlash is being heaped on the New York Post from an outraged Jewish community following its Sunday cover photo of murdered Hasidic real estate developer Menahcem Stark, accompanied by the caption
“Who Didn’t Want Him Dead?”
Troughout its accompanying article, the NEW YORK POST refers to Stark as a “slumlord,” while citing a litany unconfirmed complaints against Stark—-the vast majority from “unnamed” sources—-and paints a picture of the deceased father of eight as a man who authorities hint “had so many enemies that investigators say they almost don’t know where to start looking.”
Reaction to the Post’s decision to run the feature has been swift and harsh from an outraged Jewish community.
Councilman Stephen Levin has also responded in disgust, calling on the Post to pull the story and apologize.
Levin’s statement reads,
““The New York Post’s unbelievably offensive headline this morning comes the day after Mr. Stark’s family and children, as well as an entire community, laid him to rest and are still mourning his death. For the New York Post to suggest that a person deserved to be murdered is sickening and reaches a new low. The entire community is outraged by such a vulgar headline that is so offensive and horrific. The New York Post should pull their story and issue an apology to the family and community that are still in mourning.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ office stated that, “Today at 3:00 PM, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will join Jewish community leaders and local elected officials to condemn the New York Post’s hateful coverage of the murder of Menachem “Max” Stark, a 39-year-old father of eight children from the Hasidic community of Williamsburg. Along with reporting that alleged him to be a crooked slumlord, the Post’s cover featured a picture of Stark next to the headline, “Who didn’t want him dead?”
“Jewish community leaders will be announcing a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of Stark, whose smoldering body was found in a dumpster in Long Island, following his abduction Thursday night outside his real estate office in Brooklyn,” Adams’ statement concludes.
State Senator Simcha Felder add his voice of rage, releasing the following statement:
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the incredibly insensitive and crass cover of today’s New York Post which mocks the kidnapping and brutal murder of Menachem Stark,” said Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn). The Post must issue an immediate apology to the Stark family and to all New Yorkers for its egregious behavior and failure to exercise any judgment whatsoever in this matter.”
THE ALGEMEINER (http://bit.ly/1hpiPqW) is also running a piece condemning the Post’s story, stating “Stooping to a new low, the New York Post reports this story with inappropriate levity and derision toward the victim. Gloating over Stark’s death, the front cover of Sunday’s New York Post rhetorically asks, “Who didn’t want him dead?” How about the eight children and widow wife mourning over him? How about the hundreds that showed up at his funereal to pay respect? How about any decent human that believes murder is the wrong way to settle disputes?”
Along those lines, “Jew in the City” founder Allison Joseph has posted on her Facebook page, “The deceased did not seem to be someone who lived up to some major Torah ideals. However, there should be a certain basic respect for the dead.”
TWITTER has been exploding, too, with negative responses from angry members of the Jewish community.
Councilman David G. Greenfield Tweeted a short time ago, “I’m sickened by the @NYPost condoning the murder & kidnapping of chasidic businessman. I don’t subscribe. If I did, I would cancel subscription.”
BUSINESS INSIDER (http://read.bi/19Ki1KW) is quoting numerous Tweets, including one that reads, “It’s heart-wrenching that this is leading the @nypost website today. ‘Who DIDN’T want him dead?’ SHAME ON YOU!”
Yaacov Behrman Tweeted “I am deeply disturbed by the cover of the New York Post, “who didn’t want him dead.” How about this young boy?!”—-referring to the young boy pictured at the start of Stark’s standing-room-only funeral last night who, visibly shaken, said in Yiddish, “You know they burned him and left him in the trash.”