NY Councilman Greenfield successfully took on a Neturei Karta leader at a New York City Council hearing after the Neturei Karta’s tirade against Israel.
CITY HALL — New York City Councilman David G. Greenfield angrily denounced the leader of Neturei Karta today after he testified at a New York City Council hearing marked by protests and interruptions.
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 the Neturei Karta 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 had previously attended a Holocaust Denial Conference in Iran. “Did the State of Israel exist when Hitler killed six million Jews?”
“You represent two dozen mentally unstable individuals”
“Who do you speak for, Mr. Weiss?” Greenfield continued, “You don’t represent Satmar. Don’t lie. You don’t even live in New York City. Who do you represent? Who do you represent? You represent two dozen mentally unstable individuals. That’s all. And you are the leader of this mentally unstable cult? Do not pretend to represent our community. Who elected you? Who appointed you? Who made you a rabbi? You represent no one but yourself.”
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, if any, he represented, choosing rather to continue shouting angrily over Greenfield’s attempts to ask questions.
BDS supporters at the meeting repeatedly yelled out curses against Israel, and some hecklers where ejected from the meeting.
“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. Most disappointingly, several Jews were part of the anti-Israel propaganda and Neturei Karta is the worst offender in that group,” Greenfield explained. “I was heartened, however, that so many of my colleagues are proudly pro-Israel and am especially grateful to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her support, Councilman Andy Cohen for sponsoring the legislation and Jewish Caucus Chair Councilman Mark Levine for his leadership.”
The hearing, which was on a New York City 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.