Even by the standards of a political race, a campaign in Brooklyn has turned nasty, with a Jewish candidate for the New York state senate accusing his opponent – also a Jew – of having ties to neo-Nazis.
New York City Council member Lew Fidler, a Democrat, two weeks ago claimed that his rival, Republican David Storobin, has “ties to skinheads and neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist groups.” The claim appears to be based on old writings by Storobin that had been linked to by racist websites. The New York Daily News reports that Fidler repeated the charge earlier this week.
One of the writings in question – posted by an online magazine called Global Politician, which Storobin edited – dealt uncritically with South Africa’s Afrikaner Independence Movement, which calls for a separate state for whites within South Africa. That article and other writings by Storobin have “have since vanished from the site,” reports Brooklyn blog Sheepshead Bites.
In response to another controversy regarding one of Storobin’s political statements, an ally of the Russian-born politician recently claimed it was he, not Storobin, who posted a 2009 tweet implying that President Obama is Muslim.
Storobin responded to Fidler’s “neo-Nazi” accusation this week by e-mailing reporters photos showing his family history in the Soviet Union, as well as grandmother’s Hebrew-inscribed gravestone in Israel.
Local blogs have criticized Storobin’s political writing, but have also taken Fidler to task for implying that links on supremacist websites are the same as “ties” to the groups.