New York Jewish rep takes on Olmert

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind calls for PM's resignation in newspaper ads.

dov hikind 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
dov hikind 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is a failure and should resign, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind says in full-page ads published this weekend in Jewish newspapers throughout the United States and set to appear, too, in mainstream US papers and in the Israeli press. "Ehud Olmert is weak when he should be strong, demonstrating ineptitude and incompetence in the face of growing threats from Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran and Syria," the ad says. It says Olmert should resign, "for the sake of Israel and the Jewish people." Hikind, an Orthodox Jew who represents Brooklyn's largely ultra-Orthodox Boro Park neighborhood, has long been an outspoken advocate of right-wing policies. The ad campaign was an attempt to encourage debate, he told The Jerusalem Post. He said the issue was not whether to give up land, but what to do with an indecisive prime minister. "When talking about the situation which is unfolding, one must come to the conclusion that it is disastrous," Hikind told the Post. "We're talking about indecisiveness, and that's dangerous." The ads first appeared on December 6 in seven prominent Jewish newspapers, including the Forward and Jewish Week, and will soon be published in mainstream papers such as The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Following the US media blitz, Hikind plans on bringing the ads to Israel. "They'll be everywhere," he said. We went with the Jewish-Anglo population [in the US] first because it's my home base; it's what I'm most comfortable with." Hikind plans on visiting Israel in the near future with several US Supreme Court judges. He said the trip would focus on an unrelated issue, but its timing would coincide with the appearance of the ads in Israeli newspapers. "The ad campaign will be incorporated into the trip," Hikind said, adding that a meeting with Olmert was "not likely."