NY man sent anti-Semitic email to official over removal of Confederate monument

Sep 14, 2017

(JTA) — A suburban New York man was arrested for allegedly sending an anti-Semitic email to a town official who had been pushing to remove a monument to Confederate soldiers.

Timothy Goetze of White Plains in Westchester County was arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime. Police did not say what was in the letter, but said it targeted Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, who is Jewish.

Feiner had supported removing the monument at Mount Hope Cemetery in Hastings, but reconsidered earlier this month, saying the obelisk-shaped monument was a symbol of reconciliation rather than of the Confederacy or white supremacy, the Journal News reported.

“While we respect everyone’s right to free speech, this was clearly a case where that line was crossed,” Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney said of Goetze’s letter in a statement. “We want to send a message that such hate-filled threats will be fully investigated and those responsible will be brought to justice.”

Feiner previously has been on the receiving end of alleged anti-Semitic invective. In 2014, a local fire chief apologized after colleagues deposed in an age-discrimination lawsuit said the chief often used anti-Semitic language to refer to Feiner.

Greenburgh, a mostly affluent suburb of New York City, includes six independent villages and a sizable Jewish population.