Borough President Markowitz could have waved his magic wand in ways that actually benefitted Southern Brooklyn before leaving office next year, including ensuring the Coney Boardwalk remains an all-wood walkway, and completing construction on the long-overdue fieldhouse at Marine Park — the borough’s largest green.
Instead, Mr. Brooklyn chose to appoint Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, to Community Board 10.
Sarsour’s arrival on a community panel entrusted with making important municipal decisions wouldn’t raise an eyebrow, if her relatives and friends weren’t Hamas members, if she didn’t hoist a pro-Palestinian agenda above an American one, and if she wasn’t so resistant to NYPD’s counter-terrorism efforts.
“I can’t deny that people related to me have been in Israeli prisons,” Sarsour told NY1 last summer, adding, “This is just the reality of Palestinians living under military occupation.”
The actual reality is far more sinister.
She told the Columbia Journalism Review in 2004 that the Arab men pictured on the front page of an Arab newspaper bearing slogans soliciting suicide bombers were her cousin and friend, serving 25 and 99 years, respectively, in Israeli prisons — hardly misdemeanor terms. Sarsour also told the interviewer that her brother-in-law was serving a 12-year sentence for being a member of Hamas, the group accused of murdering upwards of 500 people in more than 350 separate terror attacks since 1993 attempting to annihilate Israel, while vilifying Jews as “pigs on the face of the earth”.
The association is troubling because Sarsour has not publicly disavowed her cousin, her brother-in-law, or Hamas, despite the thug group demonizing the U.S. in mosques throughout the West Bank and Gaza, where blaring jihadi recordings are the hits of the day and where the U.S. consulate routinely warns Americans to stay away. Sarsour has ignored those perils to promote a Muslim agenda funded through her half-million-dollar organization, with help from the likes of the quasi-public Brooklyn Community Foundation, begging the question: Just whose interests will Sarsour represent as a newly-minted CB10 board member?
In 2004, she stated, “Bush has long been backing Israel with cash and weapons against my own people,” ignoring the fact that the U.S. has forked over nearly $600 million in bilateral aid to the pathologically dependent Palestinians since 2008, while Iran has financed Palestinians in their terror operations against Israel.
Sarsour has also said: “I’ve always grown up with the whole notion that you are a Palestinian and we’re gonna get Palestine back,” “bigotry [in America] against Muslims is quite acceptable,” “Israel is there, and it is going to be there whether we like it or not, we have to learn to deal with that,” and “My vision is to see the Muslim American community becomes a strong political force.”
Perish that thought for Muslim values conflict with the Judeo-Christian ideals that form the bedrock of western societies. Just ask Englishman David Toube, whose town council’s pro-Muslim policy caused him and his young son to be barred from their local swimming pool because they were the wrong religion for a Muslim-only swimming session.
Sarsour’s spin on the facts is problematic, too, considering that she’s eyeing a City Council run in 2017. She stated in April that hate crimes against Muslims jumped alarmingly from 107 in 2009 to 160 in 2010, failing to note that Jews were the most persecuted group that year — as they are most years — weathering 887 hate crimes with their trademark grace and silence.
Sarsour’s imagined slights have also been insulting to the Brooklyn intelligence. Last year she raised hell after Arab Americans were banned from playing Arabic music at a July 4th picnic, as if she and her community had a problem being Arab-free Americans for a day.
Linda Sarsour has toiled to insinuate her hyper-sensitive and hopelessly helpless community into the fold of American democracy, but how that dovetails with the goals and operations of CB10 remains to be seen. The only certainty for now is that Marty has saddled Southern Brooklyn with a prospect destined to bring it more pain than gain.
Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at email@example.com or by calling (718) 260-2529.