In light of recent events and public concern, the Village of Nyack has come forward with an official statement condemning the Hamas attack on Israeli civilians and reiterating its commitment to combating anti-Semitism in every form.
Village Administrator, Andy Stewart, who proudly identifies with a Jewish family background, shared his thoughts and clarified the circumstances surrounding the recent removal of posters. “Like countless others, I was devastated by the horrendous terrorist act orchestrated by Hamas on October 7. Over the years, I’ve worked diligently with local elected officials and prominent figures in Rockland’s Jewish community to counteract anti-Semitic graffiti and show our unwavering support by flying Israeli flags on Main Street,” said Stewart.
Stewart further clarified the events of last Friday when several posters were removed. “Our Village Department of Public Works (DPW) had conducted an all-encompassing cleanup in anticipation of the Halloween parade. This cleanup saw the removal of numerous posters from various public areas, including the Hezekiah Easter Veterans Square Gazebo. It’s vital to note that Village code strictly prohibits the affixing of posters to public property, and such removals are routine,” he emphasized.
However, the matter garnered attention when Stewart, out of uniform, personally took down four posters from the gazebo later that afternoon. He recognizes the possible misconceptions his actions might have caused, stating, “Given my civilian attire, it’s understandable how my actions could be misconstrued as personal intent rather than an official mandate. I deeply regret the unintended hurt this might have caused, especially in these sensitive times when the Jewish community is already grappling with rising anti-Semitism.”
Stewart also encouraged local businesses and residents to showcase their solidarity and support by displaying posters and signs on their private properties. He and the Village government are hopeful that such gestures will foster unity and understanding within the community.