Osina Ally Tells His Supporters ‘Don’t Let Antisemitism Win’
12:27 am • 16 February 2013
An advertisement in this week’s Jewish Home asks readers to vote for Pesach Osina, an Orthodox Jewish candidate in Tuesday’s special election to replace James Sanders, and hopes they will do so to defend against the perceived antisemitism in the race.
Bishop Charles Norris, a power broker in the area backing attorney Jacques Leandre, has been outspoken about his belief that an Osina victory will be a detriment to the black community of the district. Speaking with Councilman David Greenfield, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder- Osina’s former boss- condemned Norris’ remarks and also the candidates who did not criticize Norris for asking the incendiary question.
The ad, placed in a paper widely read in the Far Rockaway Orthodox Jewish community, is among several in support of Osina that have been taken out in Jewish newspapers. (It is not clear if this ad came from the Osina campaign. Political strategist Jeff Leb said it may have come from an area resident). Osina’s chances of victory rest on a near complete turnout from the relatively small community and poor turnout elsewhere. In a district that is only 10.7 percent white, Osina’s odds are still long, though the roughly 3,500 Orthodox Jewish voters could win the election for Osina in a district where about 3,000 votes propelled Sanders to a primary victory in 2009.
Osina’s campaign strategy has raised the eyebrows of some operatives in the area. His CV is still missing from the CFB website and he has not appeared at candidate forums. To triumph in the primary (likely to be in September), Osina will have to make significant inroads in the black and Hispanic communities of the district. If he ekes out a victory Tuesday, well-financed candidates like Donovan Richards are not likely to step aside.
Norris has claimed that an Osina victory would deny crucial funding to blacks in the district. The Orthodox Jewish community, however, has an argument of their own that a candidate like Osina is needed because their institutions have received scant funding and attention over the past five years. No matter the outcome of the race, the Orthodox Jewish enclave of Far Rockaway will continue to grow and the new council member will have to acknowledge their increased voting strength.
H/t to Jeff Leb for tweeting the advertisement.