Jersey Shore Local News Slanders Cease Fire Advocates, Mayor Calls Multi-level Multi- Police Investigation Over a Flier

An announcement of a protest in Jackson Township, NJ calling for peace – specifically calling for a cease fire in Gaza has led to false smear, a reported investigation by local, county and state police and a police visit by the “Municipal Counter Terrorism Coordinator” to a local Arab American Muslim resident’s home.  

On May 11, a hyper local news site called Lakewood Alerts reported that the announcement of the protest, initially discovered on Facebook, triggered a local and state police investigation of “the origins of the flier announcing the protest, as well as whether there are individuals who are planning to attempt to illegally hold a demonstration at the DPW.”

On May 12, another hyper local news site “ShoreNewsNetwork” published a short article.  The headline of the article contained libelous smear against the organizers and community participants of the event.  Without a lick of factual substantiation, the “news” site accused the protest of being led by “Radical Pro-Hamas Protesters.”  

In fact the article itself absolutely contradicted the slanderous headline when it quoted Jackson Township mayor as saying the following:  “At this time, we are not aware who the creator(s) are, but that will not stop us from being vigilant,”


So the mayor claimed that they did not even know who the organizers of the event were.  The ‘news’ site did not provide any additional information about who the organizers are.  Then how in the world could the editor and author of the slanderous article even conclude that the organizers are “Radical Pro-Hamas Protesters” when neither the ‘news site’ nor the mayor even knew who the organizers are?

 Let this editor answer the question for you – THEY HAD NO EVIDENCE FOR THEIR ACCUSATION – THEY WROTE IT IN THEIR SUPPOSED “NEWS” SITE ANYWAY.  That is not news reporting.  It is slander and smear.

It is a major problem.  It is absolutely irresponsible for supposed journalists to make such an unsubstantiated accusation.  They could cause great harm to the falsely accused.  They could be held liable if their smearing action contributed to actual violence and harm to the organizers of the scheduled event. That is free legal advice yet this editor is not a lawyer to be clear.

As Jackson Mayor Reina’s being quoted in this article, he needs to step forward and disassociate himself from the unfounded smear.

There is a narrative promoted by the pro-Israel crowd along with much of the political leadership of the Democrat and Republican parties – that anyone that says anything bad about Israel or who calls for a cease fire or uses the word “genocide” to refer to the slaughter of 40K Gazans in the last 7 months by US supported Israel is “Hamas.” Israeli Security Minister Itamar Gvir even referred to Biden as Hamas, which to this editor sounds like a coup in motion when Biden performatively acted as if there is any pause in support for Israel. Opponents of current US policies are also frequently falsely accused of “anti-Semitism”.   Indeed protest actions demanding cease fire and an end to US arming of genocidal Israel are attended by many of the Jewish faith.

These false accusations have resulted in massive police repression against the call to end US support for genocide by US-Israel in Gaza – 1000s of arrests, 100s of serious injuries, at least 5 students shot in the head with rubber bullets at UCLA, attacks by armed pro-Israel fascists aided by police (also UCLA) and 1000s of incidents of repression.  The Hamas libelous smear by the ShoreNewsNetwork smear site is particularly heinous because it suggests that counter terrorism methods should be used against peaceful protesters calling for an end to violence.  It is especially concerning because the community that wants to end the genocide strives toward family friendly events – which mean these repressive urgings by politicians and in this case a smear site could put our children in jeopardy. Mayor Reina’s engagement of multiple state, county and local units to investigate a flier on Facebook is an over the top reaction as well.

Right now in Israel 10s of 1000s of Israelis, many clearly Zionists and carrying Israel flags are in the streets, facing militarized police repression by the Israeli regime there. They are calling for a cease fire, to bring the Israeli captives home and for the resignation of Netanyahu.  They are making some of the same demands as we make here.  To disagree with Israel does not make one Hamas or anti-Semitic.   Indeed Zionist dissenters in Israel even do it!

We understand the message behind the empty “Hamas” accusation.  The accusation is spewed almost immediately by pro-Israel proponents whenever they speak of anyone daring to criticize Israel or to call for an end to the arming of the US-Israel Genocidal War Machine (UIGWM). 

When a pro-Israel proponent makes the ‘Hamas’ accusation they are saying several things:

  1. You are dead to them
  2. They would likely support action making your death an actual thing.
  3. They want our anti-genocide efforts to be considered as “Hamas” to green light armed repression and murder of our participants by joint US / Israeli police and military action.

To the editors of the hate site ShoreNewsNetwork – we hear your – not so much of a dog whistle – lets call it an orchestration of violent action through your factless smear – your site is discredited!

There are numerous anti-genocide protests all over NJ.  This is the first time in NJ this editor is aware that an announcement of a protest led to a multi task force multi level investigation from the state to the county to the local police.  Usually the police show up – sometimes just stay in the background and sometimes they come over to ask a question or two.  But Mayor Reina called out Homeland Security Departments over a protected speech protest announcement.  It is time for Mayor Reina to pull up his big boy pants and learn to talk to his own constituents instead of calling SWAT on local taxpayers.

This FightBackBetter editor urges the smear artists at “ShoreNewsNetwork” to issue a correction stating that they have no evidence of Hamas association, to apologize to the event organizers and to change their headline.  We do not expect the site to follow suit though.  We also urge Mayor Reina to state for the record that he has no information to suggest any Hamas association and that he too wants the headline changed and that he had not intended to smear American Arab Muslim Jackson Township taxpayers by participating in the smearing article.

CAIR-NJ also condemns Jackson Township treatment of its community members in the following statement:

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