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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yossi Gestetner Hasidic GOP operative quits after Jewish Channel interview‎

Yossi Gestetner, a Hasidic operative who worked for the New York State G.O.P. as a liaison to religious Jewish voters, resigned from his position today, writing on Twitter that his job had become a "distraction" to the party.

Shortly after that, The Jewish Channel wrote, "Prior to our airing an investigation and interview tonight, @nygop official @yossigestetner has resigned."

A source familiar with the situation said Gestetner's resignation was the result of that interview, in which, according to the source, Gestetner suggested that he himself was not a Zionist. The source said Gestetner also contended in the interview that the G.O.P. was actually the party of big government, and articulated a defense of some forms of sexual abuse.

(Context, which doesn't make the comments any less impolitic or inconvenient from the party's perspective: Many Hasidic Jews are anti-Zionist, and the issue of sex abuse, and how allegations are handled by prosecutors, is a major source of tension and debate in New York's ultra-Orthodox communities right now.)

Back in May, Gestetner served as a spokesman for an event that raised money for an accused sex offender, telling The Guardian, "People came out tonight to support the American ideal of innocent till proven guilty," and also, "Many people in the community are fed up that this whole case gets tried in the court of public opinion not the court of law. People feel under siege."

 Source: Capital New York

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