A Massachusetts city permitted flying the Palestinian flag for a month regardless of heated debates amongst its residents within the wake of Hamas terrorists’ assault on Israel in October.
The black, white, inexperienced and crimson flag of the Palestinian Liberation Group was hoisted under each the American flag and POW-MIA flag on the North Andover City Frequent flagpole.
Faculty pupil Selma Khayal initially petitioned for the Palestinian flag to be raised after the city had flown the Israeli flag on the identical pole following the Hamas terror assaults on Oct. 7, in line with the Flag Elevating Allow seen by The Put up.
Khayal positioned the request on Oct. 16, simply six hours earlier than the city up to date its flag-flying insurance policies.
The outdated coverage allowed anybody to petition to have any flag raised within the city after approval by the Choose Board “ensuing within the flagpole being thought of a public discussion board.”
With the up to date coverage the notion of the flagpole getting used as a public discussion board was eliminated and, as an alternative, can be restricted to “statements of governmental speech solely,” with the board citing final 12 months’s unanimous Supreme Courtroom determination in Shurtleff v. Boston.
The 9-Zero determination requires choose boards to make content-neutral selections on flags until the city restricts flagpoles to governmental speech solely.
“It’s the coverage of North Andover (City) that its flag poles situated on the City Frequent aren’t meant to function a discussion board at no cost expression by the general public, however slightly as expressions of the City’s official sentiments,” the up to date coverage reads.
North Andover is situated 30 miles north of Boston, with a inhabitants of almost 31,000 in 2020.
As a result of Khayal’s request predated the coverage change, the board handled the petition below the outdated coverage and allowed for dialogue at a Choose Board assembly, that grew to become contentious between two teams within the city on Nov. 13.
A number of folks had been escorted out of North Andover Excessive College after shouting attendees down in the course of the contentious assembly on Monday.
The assembly got here per week after its initially scheduled time slot because the board canceled the Nov. 6 assembly as a result of threats of litigation, public security considerations and area constraints.
Some Jewish residents slammed North Andover’s determination to boost the Palestinian flag, claiming it represents “hatred” and “terrorism.”
“Clearly, we’re very dissatisfied with the choice,” Rabbi Idan Irelander told WCVB. “For us within the Jewish group, the Palestinian flag, sadly, represents Hamas. It represents hatred, terrorism, anti-Semitism as a result of Hamas is the elected celebration,”
“It is a time of grief and solidarity with the Palestinian folks, and it’s taking again the narrative as a result of this flag represents its folks, it represents a tradition,” stated Jenna Khayal, the sister of petitioner Selma Khayal. “It’s not a terrorist flag, and we is not going to let or not it’s misconstrued that method,”
Police have reportedly been known as to the City Frequent a number of instances for the reason that flag was raised forcing the Division of Public Works to knot the rope on the prime, stopping others from taking the flag down.
The flag is scheduled to be flown till December 7, in line with the signed allow.