New York City Councilman David G. Greenfield angrily denounced the leader of Neturei Karta today at a City Council hearing on a resolution condemning efforts to de-legitimize Israel. The hearing was marked by protests and frequent interruptions from supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. After listening to a steady stream of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment that pervaded much of the pro-BDS witnesses’ testimony throughout the afternoon, Greenfield attempted to engage one BDS supporter in an actual conversation. The result was not pretty, but neither was it surprising, considering that the BDS movement does not have facts on its side.
“Let me ask you a question,” Greenfield asked the head of Neturei Karta, who had just engaged in a lengthy anti-Israel tirade, and who previously attended a Holocaust Denial Conference in Iran. “Did the State of Israel exist when Hitler killed six million Jews?” The witness refused to answer, instead insisting “I will answer what I want to answer!” From there, the Neturei Karta leader continued to shout over Greenfield’s repeated attempts to ask questions. The witness declined even to answer who he was speaking for or what organization he represented, choosing rather to continue shouting angrily over Greenfield’s attempts to ask questions.
“I was shocked by the depth of anti-Israel sentiment and naked anti-Semitism on display today,” Greenfield said after the hearing. “Shocked, but sadly unsurprised. Any time you hold the BDS movement and its supporters up to any kind of scrutiny, you find either that they are simply ignorant, or that their motivations are rooted in bigotry and hatred. We saw both kinds of BDS supporters at today’s hearing.”
The hearing, which was on a Council resolution condemning efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel, including the BDS movement, began early this morning and stretched well into the afternoon, with frequent interruptions by BDS protesters.