Teens will not be charged for anti-Semitic messages

Staff Writer

JACKSON — A group of Jackson teenagers will not be charged with any crimes after anti-Semitic photographs and comments with which they were linked made rounds on the Internet, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said.

The posts included photographs of a teenage girl dressed in faux Nazi regalia and threats of violence against Jews.

Joshua Cohen, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League’s New Jersey affiliate, condemned the content of the messages and photographs.

“The anti-Semitic hatred unleashed via Twitter in Jackson by a number of teenagers is alarming and outrageous,” he said.

“These tweets are yet another example of the power of social media to instantaneously propel hate-filled bigotry — not just around the block, but around the world.”

Cohen said the onus was on local law enforcement officials to investigate the matter and to punish such speech.

“It is critically important for government officials, civic and religious leaders, and school administrators to forcefully and publicly condemn this anti-Jewish hate,” he said.

Some of the posts mentioned residents of the Orthodox Jewish community in neighboring Lakewood.

Published reports said the teenagers’ posts were brought to the attention of the community at large by a Twitter user who regularly reposts online comments and photos about Lakewood that he believes are anti-Semitic.

“Our review concluded there was no criminal offense that took place, and we were comfortable with the cooperation of the parents and school officials that they will resolve the issue,” said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office. “We base our review on the law as it stands here in New Jersey, and not on public opinion.”