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Stop city’s plans to honor Sarsour, Rivera

By Phil Orenstein

Two depraved individuals will be awarded high honors in New York City in June — one an unrepentant terrorist, a murderer of fellow New Yorkers, and the other is a vocal supporter of terrorist murderers.

On June 1, anti-Israel cheerleader of terrorists, Linda Sarsour, will have the honor of delivering the commencement address to the graduating class at CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health Policy, with the blessings of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council.

Sarsour, co-organizer of the January anti-Trump Women’s March in Washington and notorious for extreme vulgar rhetoric, is a strong voice for the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement to destroy Israel economically, and an advocate for Sharia law in the United States. She described Palestinian children’s violent attacks against Israelis as courageous, and praised convicted terrorists like Rasmea Odeh, who murdered Hebrew University students and participated in terrorist bombings in Israel.

On June 11, unrepentant terrorist leader Oscar Lopez Rivera will be honored as the “National Freedom Hero” at the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade. He will also be celebrated with a community march and street sign in his name in Brooklyn, attended by local politicians. Rivera, bomb-maker and terrorist trainer, is a leader of FALN, the former Puerto Rican nationalist terrorist group responsible for more than 120 bombings, including the deadly bombing of Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan. In 1981, he was convicted of federal charges for conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government and sentenced to 55 years in prison. Just before leaving office, President Obama commuted his sentence, and he was recently released in May.

New York City officials who are celebrating these two dishonorable individuals have lost all sense and sanity. This is a non-political issue, a clear case of good vs. evil, that should have everyone, regardless of party, outraged, shouting from rooftops. We should see every single elected official declaring their condemnation of these two scoundrels.

However, here in de Blasio’s New York where the lunatic fringe is in charge, the opposite is happening — at least as far as our elected representatives and nearly all city council members are concerned.

In fact, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito made a grand announcement to the press and the public of Rivera’s honors as the “National Freedom Hero” at the site of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. Many New York politicians will be grinning and marching alongside this bomb-making murderer, singing his praises in the upcoming Puerto Rican Day Parade.

U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand recently praised Linda Sarsour in Time Magazine and social media. De Blasio, a good friend of Sarsour, rewarded her with a $500,000 taxpayer grant, and nearly all City Council members stand behind her CUNY commencement address, where she will share the stage with First Lady Chirlane McCray, who will receive an honorary doctorate.

City Councilman Brad Lander and others recently spoke out in praise and defense of Sarsour. Otherwise, the silence is deafening, except for a small handful of politicians, as 99 percent of our New York elected officials either look the other way or outright praise these two thugs.

This folly has to stop. We need to speak out loud at the polls to vote the current crop of political flunkies out of public office and into retirement. They are the puppets of the mayor and only serve for their own interests, to go along and to get along.

We New Yorkers, who want freedom, safety and prosperity for our friends and families, will be the change agents of New York City. We must put a stop to the disgraceful plans of CUNY officials and the Puerto Rican Day Parade committee from honoring these two repugnant evil individuals.

Phil Orenstein

President, Queens Village Republican Club

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