By Yehudah Meth
To anyone who has followed the agenda of freshman Congresswoman Omar, someone calling her an anti-Semite shouldn’t be news. It’s just stating the obvious—like “water is wet” or “sharks have bad breath.” But in a world where Israel bashing and even overt Jew hatred has become acceptable, any perceived pejorative by a politician is grounds for vote baiting. Thus, when NYC Councilman Kalman Yeger labelled Omar what she is, an anti-Semite, he was called out by a Muslim reporter for having once Tweeted, “Palestine does not exist.”
Yeger, who represents Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Gravesend, Kensington and Midwood, replied: “Palestine does not exist. There, I said it again. Also, Congresswoman Omar is an antisemite. Said that too. Thanks for following me.”
That brought the storm. Conscious of a growing “progressive” constituency who openly dislikes the State of Israel—even if they, themselves, don’t—New York elected officials from the Mayor to the Speaker of the City Council weighed in, feigning outrage or demanding an apology from Yeger. But Yeger would sooner apologize for the moon orbiting the earth. After all, he said, he’d only stated an historical fact, and echoed official U.S. policy. There is no Palestine. It wasn’t an attack on Palestinians, he said, or a claim that there’s no issues needing solutions in the middle east. Just the facts, ma’am. Water is wet.
Enter Linda Sarour, the rabid Israel hater, spokesmodel for anti-Semites everywhere, ornamented terrorist apologist, and sworn enemy of good grammar. Sarsour called upon every frothing social justice warrior in her cabal and social media reach to storm Midwood, surround Yeger’s home, and call for his head (politically speaking… but you never know, given her heroes). Upon reconsideration, Sarsour changed the destination to Yeger’s Boro Park Office. It was all going down on Thursday night, she warned. Be there or be labelled a Zionist.
Dov Hikind was on a plane, returning from Israel, as Sarsour sought assemblage of her torch-wielding mob. Upon hearing her intentions, Dov wasted no time. One can only imagine what his in-flight phone bill will look like when it arrives.
Pause for a back story: Hikind and Yeger aren’t exactly regarded by Boro Parkers as bosom buddies. Yeger ran against Hikind’s son Yoni in a somewhat contentious race for the City Council seat. Politics in Jewish circles sometimes smell worse than shark’s breath.
But that’s politics. None of that matters when it comes to the real issues.
“Linda Sarsour is not bringing a lynch mob to Boro Park to attack a Jew,” said Hikind as he called on his community to come out and support Yeger and denounce Sarsour. The iconic activist was still jet lagged when he arrived in Boro Park on Thursday night. Hundreds had gathered on the corner of 16th Ave and 44th Street to heed the call of their former Assemblyman, who retired from office last December.
“We will not allow a troupe of anti-Semites to run over our neighborhood and succeed in pronouncing their hatred unchallenged,” Hikind told reporters. Then Hikind looked around. “Where is Linda?” he asked.
Sarsour was nowhere to be found. Observing what had shown up to greet her, the ayatollah of antisemitism and superintendent of sloppy syntax had exercised the better part of valor and exited stage left. Only a handful of Muslims and a half-dozen inmates from the Neturei Karta psychiatric ward had shown up to protest Yeger’s tweet. One of the Neturei Karta patients had been to Iran to attend a Holocaust denial conference.
“For 40 years, Dov Hikind has been standing up for us,” Yeger told me. “This isn’t news. The news is that normal is under attack by crazy. I’ve had credible death threats from this incident. But G-d runs the world, and what I stated was a fact.”
“The middle of the road is for horses,” I replied to the Councilman, quoting the great Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. “You stood for something, learned who you friends weren’t, and saw that Dov Hikind is still there when we need him.”
Indeed. And water is still wet.