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Responds to story

In the May 21 article on the Teaneck municipal elections, an ellipsis was used in my quote regarding the subject of “loshon hara,” which the Standard translated as “deceitful language.” The article quotes me as saying: “When we’re talking about somebody who is running for public elected office … it is not loshon hara to report the truth.” The ellipsis left out the phrase “who poses a risk to the community.”

Many Teaneck residents were clearly aware that had Joseph Steinberg won a seat on the Teaneck Town Council, it would have meant Councilwoman Dr. Barbara Ley Toffler would have had an ally. Together, it is widely believed, they could have potentially jeopardized any number of programs that are in the best interest of Teaneck in general, and the observant Jewish community in particular.

In the article, I am correctly quoted as saying that I believed Mr. Steinberg, in allying himself with Dr. Toffler, was naïve, “and I’m willing to give him his naïveté.” In fact, Mr. Steinberg does not need me to give him anything. I am willing to accept that he was naïve, but that sort of political naïveté in an elected official can be dangerous.

As long as we’re correcting quotes, Dr. Toffler is cited as maintaining that, in her original outrageous quote to The New York Times, she was referring to “Kiryas Joel, a Satmar-run community in Orange County, and not Monsey.” If this is so, then perhaps Dr. Toffler might explain why she told the Times: “People worry that there’s a group that wants this to become an Orthodox community like some of the ones in Rockland County.”

She spoke of “Rockland County,” not Orange County, not even “upstate New York.” Her meaning was clear, and no one missed her intention.

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