Forward Thinking

In Menachem Stark Slay, Where's the Humanity?

By Eliyahu Federman

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Menachem Stark, a Brooklyn Hasidic real estate developer, was abducted, murdered, and thrown into a dumpster. Stepping to a new low, the New York Post reports this story with inappropriate levity and derision toward the victim.

Practically gloating over Stark’s death, the front cover of Sunday’s New York Post rhetorically asks, “Who didn’t want him dead?”

We still don’t know all the facts and it’s certainly possible that Stark’s business deals in some way caused a dispute that led to his murder.

But how about the eight children and widow mourning over him? How about the hundreds of mourners who showed up at his funeral in the bitter cold to pay respects? How about any decent human that believes murder is the wrong way to settle disputes?

A Facebook page titled “Condemn the NY Post for Sundays Cover Page” has already garnered over 1,000 likes from those outraged by the callous headline.

The Post article goes on to refer to the Hasidic landlord with the derogatory phrase “slumlord,” while implying that his abduction and murder should be of no surprise due to “‘shady’ real-estate transactions.”

If an attention-grabbing headline about a “slumlord” weren’t enough, The Post decided to inject some wildly inappropriate Yiddish humor into the mix describing the landlord as “up to his tuchus in debt.” ‘Tuchus’ is Yiddish for “ass.” Jewish jokes often involve that word.

The Post needs to be called out for sensationalizing this tragic story, using Yiddish levity in the context of a Hasidic man’s murder and feeding into stereotypes about Jewish landlords, which can only spark more hatred and anti-Semitism.


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