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‘When is Omar’s turn?’ Questions arise when Linda Sarsour celebrates ousting of Jewish NYC councilman

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Jewish NYC Councilman Kalman Yeger was removed from his seat on New York City’s immigration committee after tweeting that “Palestine does not exist.” Predictably the notorious Linda Sarsour reveled in the news. Meanwhile, the First Amendment continues to be battered and disregarded.

Councilman Yeger also has spoken out on issues related to antisemitism in the government of late.

Yeger represents several Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn. His tweet came as a response to a journalist’s criticism for calling Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat from Minnesota, an antisemite, which is a widely held view due to her repeated attacks on Jews and Israel. The journalist, an Arab named Zainab Iqbal also complained about him using the term “so-called Palestinian.”

City Council leaders decided Monday to remove Yeger from the committee.  Reports indicate there was “broad consensus” that Mr. Yeger’s views were inconsistent with the committee’s mission. The dismissal came as a coalition of Palestinian, immigrant, and civil rights groups announced it was planning a protest at City Hall later this week.

New York City is home to the largest Jewish population in the world, outside of Israel. The area is also home to a large concentration of self-identified Palestinian-Americans. Yeger’s recent comments set off a firestorm of controversy, with criticism being leveled at him from all over the globe.

Officially, the United States recognizes “Palestinian” as a nationality but has never recognized a State of Palestine. In fact, there has never been an Arab state although negotiations have been held over the matter for generations.

The Arabs have rejected the offer of a state of their own situated next to Israel no less than five times … in 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000, and 2008. By all accounts, the objective of the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians is to simply wipe Israel off the map.

The issue of Palestine is a long-running fight that seems to have no solution. Most opinions are deeply held and emotionally charged. In the Middle East, wars and terrorism are a constant along the Israeli border region over the issue. Lives are lost on both sides every year.

In America, the battles are being fought on a different plane … in the fight for winning-over popular opinion and of course donations to the cause. Yet the battlefields are increasingly lopsided.

Free speech has been seen as a necessity in America in order to have any hope of allowing our way of life to continue to exist in the future. Yet, when the left has control of government and the media, invariably the opposition is silenced as is the case here with the councilman.

Victor Rantala

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