Rockland County, NY -The newly appointed Director of Jewish Outreach for New York State’s Republican party has resigned from his position after just eight days in office, calling himself a distraction to the party.
“My appointment as Director of Jewish Outreach has been a distraction for the NYGOP. As such I am resigning my duties,” tweeted Yossi Gestetner at 2:19 this afternoon.
Less than five hours later, Gestetner’s blog, GestetnerUpdates.com gave a full account for his abrupt resignation, which included his concerns about New York State Senate republican majority leader Dean Skelos’ support of Democrat Simcha Felder in the upcoming November election for the “Super Jewish Senate Seat” and criticism of his sometimes controversial defense of Orthodoxy and Chasidic life.
According to a report by The Jewish Channel, Gestetner’s resignation came less than thirty minutes after Josh Rubin, a reporter for NY1, asked State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox about an investigation of Gestetner by The Jewish Channel, which conducted an hour long on-camera interview with Gestetner. During that interview, Gestetner discussed several issues that may put him at odds with both the Republican party and many of New York State’s 1.6 million Jewish residents, which include his being a spokesman at a fundraiser to benefit an alleged child molester, his controversial stance on referring suspected cases of child abuse to a rabbi before alerting the authorities, his views on government assistance programs and his work for Torah True Jews Against Zionism, an anti-Israel organization that states that Zionism is contrary to Torah Judaism.
Describing himself as someone who attempts “to give the Orthodox and Chasidic community a fair and balanced chance in the court of public opinion,” the outspoken Gestetner told VIN News that many things he has said have been distorted, taken out context and even been presented untruthfully, although he admits that he sometimes comes off as “strong and in your face.”
“Since the GOP decided to retain me one week ago, they have been subject to criticism and complaints about my appointment,” Gestetner told VIN News. “I didn’t come here to cause trouble. I came here to bring the GOP closer to the Jewish community, but if I am creating a problem, the responsible thing to do is to submit my resignation. I am not G-d’s gift to the universe that the GOP needs to be busy with me four hours a day.”
Gestetner was quick to point out that he was not suggesting that either Felder or Skelos were responsible for the negative campaign against him, but rather he suspects it was Skelos’ political aids who were hoping to remove him from office because he has publicly stated that he does not support Felder in the upcoming election.