A Social Media ‘War’ in Yiddish Over Boro Park Race

A still of Yeger making cotton candy from an anti-Yeger video. Find out more from The Forward. (Photo from WhatsApp via The Forward)

In the 44th district City Council race between Kalman Yeger and Yoni Hikind in Boro Park, supporters of both sides are engaging in a heated battle taking place primarily on private WhatsApp groups, reports Josh Nathan-Kazis for The Forward.

The combatants are largely anonymous, with no official ties to the two campaigns.

The result is a cross between a hip hop beef and a meme war, with partisans trading diss tracks and web videos that bash the other side without any accountability.

“This is possibly one of the most nasty and personal campaigns I’ve seen,” said Michael Fragin, an Orthodox political analyst.

Yeger partisans have anonymously drawn attention to Hikind’s unmarried status, which is unusual among Orthodox Jews of his age. Meanwhile, Hikind supporters passed on false claims that the progressive Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour is backing Yeger, which she has denied.

Read Nathan-Kazis’ full story in The Forward for how the campaign “is the latest proxy skirmish in the long-running feud between outgoing City Councilman David Greenfield and longtime New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind,” father of Yoni, and details on the “most bizarre example” of what has appeared on WhatsApp – an “apparently unauthorized pro-Yeger jingle.”

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