Yeger’s tweet resulted in a public outcry and The New York Times (https://nyti.ms/2YAs6W2) reported that he was removed from committee after a council leadership meeting that lasted over an hour. Participants said that Yeger’s remarks were incompatible with the committee’s mission.
“I do not believe that someone who engages in the type of rhetoric we heard from Councilmember Yeger belongs on the immigration committee which is supposed to welcome and support immigrants in our city,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2YEvGhY), Mayor Bill de Blasio had said on Friday that Yeger should either apologize for his remarks or be removed from the committee. Yeger had categorically refused to rescind his statement, even as he found himself in the center of a sea of controversy and criticism, still sticking to his guns tonight, even after news of his removal broke.
“I respect the Speaker’s right to run the Council as he sees fit,” tweeted Yeger. “It’s unfortunate that political correctness takes precedence over objective fact. Of course, there are Palestinians. However, the fact remains that there is no Palestinian state.”
A jubilant tweet posted by Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour announcing Yeger’s removal from the committee received nearly 1,000 likes in just over an hour.
“No longer will anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim comments by an elected official go unchecked. It’s a new day,” tweeted Sarsour.
Responses to Sarsour’s remarks ran the gamut with Twitter user Bernie Miller tweeting “He should be thrown out of NYC. We don’t play that [obscenity]”, while Hack4Israel tweeted “Can someone PLEASE share a map of Palestine and prove Yeger was lying?”
Numerous users questioned why Yeger was ousted from his seat while Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been allowed to remain on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, including Private Citizen who wrote, “Omar gets to keep her committee but Yeger loses. Unreal. The bigoted bias of islamists [sic] is real.”
Those sentiments were echoed by former Assemblyman Dov Hikind who mobilized the Jewish community to rally against a protest in the heart of Borough Park denouncing Yeger.
“A member of the United States Congress who indulged in vile anti-Semitism remains on the Foreign Affairs committee and no one here in New York who called for Yeger to be taken off the committee has called for her to be removed as well,” Hikind told VIN News. “What hypocrisy. What a double standard.”
Hikind called today’s decision outrageous and shameful.
“Nobody wants to deal with the facts,” said Hikind, who often had his differences with Yeger. “There was nothing wrong with what he said, which was absolutely true.”
Yeger is not the first city councilman to have a committee assignment retracted after making a remark that generated controversy.
City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. found himself in trouble in February after making a statement that offended members of the homosexual community, with Yeger joining the overwhelming majority of the council voting to dissolve the For-Hire Vehicles committee which he chaired, as reported by NY1 (http://bit.ly/2TOkMT6).
Diaz wasted no time speaking his mind on the latest development in the controversy, responding to a tweet posted by Yeger on the importance of free speech.
“I do agree with kalman [sic] Yeger when he said ‘free speech must reign, even in the Council’ to [sic] bad he did not agree with me when they came after me and speaker [sic] Johnson eliminated my committee.” tweeted Diaz.