“It’s disgraceful, irresponsible and dangerous for a sitting NYC [New York City] council member to engage in blatant bigotry and erasure,” Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American community organizer told the Brooklyn Eagle.
The pro-Zionist, who has in the past also used derogatory terms such as ‘so-called Palestinians,’ was doubling down on the racist and Islamophobic narratives after Bklyner blog author, Zainab Iqbal, recalled the Brooklyn councilmember’s previous remark about the congresswoman.
The pro-Israel New York lawmaker tweeted: “Palestine does not exist. There, I said it again. Also, Congresswoman [Ilhan] Omar is an antisemite. Said that too.”
Palestine does not exist. There, I said it again. Also, Congresswoman Omar is an antisemite. Said that too. Thanks for following me. https://t.co/apM565HoEV
One Twitter user responded: “Racism against Palestinians is completely normalized, acceptable and carries no consequences. The most bizarre, virulent, hallucinatory sh*t is just chill for way too many members of the US political class.”
While journalist Shaun King tweeted: “Wow. This is a real tweet from a New York City councilman.”
Thursday City Council Speaker Corey Johnson stated that Yeger’s position on an immigration committee is currently being reviewed following the anti-Palestine comments.
"His comment is nonsensical. Palestine exists. Saying that doesn’t comport with facts," Johnson said, adding that “My personal viewpoint is those comments make me uncomfortable with having someone with those viewpoints on a committee that's supposed to work with immigrants... He should definitely apologize and I very vigorously condemn his comment."
This is an NYC councilman.
Racism against Palestinians is completely normalized, acceptable and carries no consequences. The most bizarre, virulent, hallucinatory shit is just chill for way too many members of the US political class https://t.co/Z4zkMGIhy0
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca added: “The occupation of the Palestinian people has wrought immense human suffering. Tweeting ‘Palestine does not exist’ is a profoundly dehumanizing statement that attempts to erase the Palestinian people and their struggle for self-determination.
“More than that, it is a belief that has justified violence against Muslim and Arab people across the world. That is the problem with Councilmember Yeger’s remarks and why I condemn his tweet — it not only erases, but it denies the humanity of many people.
"When someone comes out like this, it's erasing but also denying the true rights of people. I see a future without him on the committee."
A two-state solution is the best hope for peace. I challenge anyone who thinks the State of Israel shouldn’t exist. But the same goes for anyone who would deny Palestinians a home. https://t.co/3JvnS4UOhm
Amid the backlash protesters demonstrated outside the councilmember’s office in support of their social media counterparts, who also noted questionably past actions of the state’s mayor, prompting a response.
“A two-state solution is the best hope for peace. I challenge anyone who thinks the State of Israel shouldn’t exist. But the same goes for anyone who would deny Palestinians a home,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio chimed in after receiving criticism for a photograph which depicted him hugging Yeger last year.
In an unusual turn of events, a group of anti-Zionist Hasidic Jews joined the Pro-Palestinian demonstrators to chant slogans against pro-Israel Hasidic counter-protesters, which then caused the police to intervene.
“Yeger's comments were hateful. They were outrageous. He was dehumanizing Palestinians, which is absolutely unacceptable of any leader - especially a New York City Councilmember,” Bay Ridge for Social Justice’s Alex Pellitteri said.
“If he does not recognize Palestinians and is erasing an entire people, he has no place deciding laws on immigration in New York City.”
But, the lawmaker is no stranger to offensive utterances.
In March 2018, Yeger - who has a history of tweeting Palestine in quotation marks - previously commented that “there is no such thing as Palestine.”