This week, Developer Shalom Lamm filed a lawsuit with the US District Court Southern District of New York, accusing the town of Mamakating and the village of Bloomingburg in upstate NY of engaging in “pervasive, government-sponsored religious discrimination” against Hasidic Jews, Watershed Post reports.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to stop the village of Bloomingburg from voting to dissolve itself this month, and demand $25 million in damages.
Lamm’s plans to build a 396-home development caused a tremendous controversy in Bloomingburg, in the town of Mamakating. The FBI was called in to investigate charges that Lamm was guilty of voter fraud, and village planning board was dissolved after a State Supreme Court judge ordered it to consider a permit application for a private school for Hasidic girls. Oh, and in July, a bunch of Lamm owned buildings on Main Street were vandalized.
Pastoral, countryside stuff…
This week’s federal discrimination lawsuit was filed by Lamm’s development company, several Hasidic families, the future girls school, and some additional parties. They’re alleging that the village of Bloomingburg is attempting to dissolve itself only to block the influx of Hasidic Jews into the town:
Bloomingburg residents will vote on September 30 on a referendum that cedes all jurisdiction to the Town of Mamakating. The lawsuit alleges that by committing political suicide, the village would undo prior zoning and subdivision approvals for the Jewish-owned development projects.
The lawsuit notes that the September 30 referendum has been scheduled during the Jewish High Holy Days, in an attempt to keep Hasidic Jews from voting.
The 66-page lawsuit states:
“Angry protestors have hectored and cursed at Orthodox Jewish women as they push baby strollers through the streets … Hasidic residents have been cursed at while walking to religious services, with one 17-year-old girl being yelled at to “eat shit and die.’ Inflammatory comments like this are met with the overwhelming approvals of the crowds of protestors. Coffee cups have been hurled at members of the Hasidic community while walking through the streets of Bloomingburg. ”
One sections lists comments online that call the Hasidic Jews “parasites, ” “scum, ” and joke about solving the problem with a “tactical nuke” and a “Final Solution.” It alleges that workers on the housing development have “been the subject of smashed car windshields, tossed beer bottles, and have even been told to ‘die, you Jew lover.'”
In an interview with the NY Post this week, Bloomingburg’s former deputy mayor, Clifford Teich said the bad behavior and violence were mutual. He said: “Nobody wants the Hasidics here because there was a lie to bring them in.”
Teich said he voted to approve a new, gated community of 125 luxury homes with an 18-hole golf course, swimming pools and tennis courts that village residents could use. Except the original developer, Duane Roe, then sold the property to Lamm, who added 396 townhouses to the plan.
“I have nothing against the Hasidics — I’m Jewish myself, and they have a right to live anywhere, it’s the United States — but I was dealt a phony deck of cards, ” Teich said, adding, “They dangled the carrot in front of me, and it turned into an onion.”