No, we didn’t “organize the protest” in Borough Park.

Dov Hikind at the protest last week. (Photo: Zainab Iqbal/Bklyner)

In the aftermath of last week’s protest and counter-protest in Borough Park over a council member’s comment on Palestine, a prominent community leader there has made a truly bizarre and disturbing allegation.

Our reporter, Zainab Iqbal, “organized a protest in the heart of the Jewish community,” Dov Hikind, the former Assemblyman and leading Borough Park figure tweeted:

This is false, and Mr. Hikind ought to know it since he was there. We covered the whole sequence of events fairly, carefully and well, including Kalman Yeger’s claim that Palestine doesn’t exist, the backlash to that claim, and the raucous counter-protest.

Hikind has borrowed the shameless tactics of Donald Trump and others like him, substituting obvious falsehoods on Twitter for dialogue, and attacking the press when he (apparently) doesn’t like the facts of our reporting. Particularly absurd is his suggestion that Ms. Iqbal is “playing the victim card,” when she did her job with total professionalism in a difficult situation.

The cynicism is particularly depressing here at the local level where we all know one another, live within blocks, and need to work together again tomorrow on all the shared issues facing Brooklyn communities.

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Liena Zagare

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  1. Shame on Mr. Hiking and Mr. Yeger for continuing to light the flames of religious violence. When asking others to do something, one ought to look at themselves first. Stop pointing fingers, Mr. Hiking – your acquaintances and you are the ones spewing hate in Brooklyn.

  2. Total professionalism? Are you joking? Professionalism at what standard? There were aspects of the reporting that were incorrect to say the least. For starters, the allegations that the crowd was chanting “go home” to Palestinians. There is video footage of the event, including the chanting. The crowd can be heard chanting “go home,” but those words are not preceded or followed by the word “Palestinians,” or even references to “Palestinians.” The crowd was chanting “Neturei Karta go home,” which was a reference to several Jewish men from the aforementioned group who don’t live in the city and came to the event from Rockland County. Furthermore, why was Ms. Iqbal allowed to continue covering this story, despite her personal involvement in it? It would have been one thing to keep have her write an opinion piece, but I read an article in your publication, (“Go Home”: Councilman’s Supporters Rally Against Palestinian Cause, March 28) which was not clearly labeled as “opinion.”

  3. What a gutless piece of journalism. You guys breed anti semitisim when you don’t comment on what was said by the Palestinian protesters. Palestine will be free from the river to the see. Which means Israel Shld be wiped off. How is that not mentioned in your piece. Shame on you

  4. Seriously? On March 4 you printed an article by Ms. Iqbal “Brooklyn Stands Against Hate” covering an event that was organized in response to the Hammer Attack in Sheepshead Bay. Where a schizophrenic man walked into a chinese restaurant and killed all the employees with a hammer. Chinese Americans. But you would never know it by Ms. Iqbals story. She took no pictures of any Asian-Americans. No children, no parents, no Asian American community leaders or speakers. Only Muslim women and female children. A few African Americans. Jewish Men and Jewish boys. Mainly Muslim female/Jewish male was the theme. While it was all lovey dovey anti hate, nevertheless it painted a false narrative. That false narrative being that the rising hate crimes in south brooklyn are muslim vs jewish. When in fact it is the Asian-American citizens of South Brooklyn that have been most on the receiving line of hate crimes. A MASS MURDER took place in a CHINESE restaurant. And Ms Iqbal twisted the story by leaving that little feature out. Anybody who read her article who isn’t from this neighborhood and knew the Hammer Attack story would assume the tensions were between Muslims and Jews. She flamed this fire. Its not OK. Meanwhile does anybody give a damn about the rise in hate crimes against our Asian-American neighbors? The don’t fit the current political narrative?? So shameful of Brooklyner/

  5. I agree with the above comment. Ms. Iqbal did not seem objective “covering” this story, and I agree that she should have been replaced by a more balanced reporter.

  6. Was it professional to report the co-naming of Coney Island Avenue and Foster Avenue with a street sign, Muhammad Ali Jinnah Way, by providing positive commentary towards Ali Jinnah? What does your staff and readers think about Muhammad Ali Jinnah stating on October 12, 1945, that “Every man and woman of the Muslim world will die before Jewry seizes Jerusalem.” Is that not the rotten core of hate speech? How about a follow-up on Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s murderous rallying cry against Jewry?

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