“At a select board meeting, which had previously been rescheduled due to ‘threats of litigation as well as public safety concerns,’ residents spoke passionately in both defense and opposition to the flag.”
The town of North Andover in Massachusetts is currently flying the Palestinian flag over its town common and will continue to do so into December.
Previously, the town flew Israel’s flag in the same place, and the town’s board was just hours away from voting to ban anything but the state and American flags, but this proposal made it in under the radar.
Like many Massachusetts communities, North Andover is fairly liberal. The town voted for Biden by 61 percent in 2020, but not everyone is happy about this.
FOX News reports:
Massachusetts town approves permit to fly Palestinian flag on public flagpole
North Andover, Massachusetts, officials approved a permit Monday, allowing a Palestinian flag to be flown on the North Andover Town Common, according to reports.
Boston 25 News reported that the black, white, red and green flag was raised Tuesday morning and will remain in place until Dec. 7.
Residents attended a board meeting Monday night that had to be rescheduled because of reported “threats of litigation as well as public safety concerns,” both in favor and opposition of the flag being put on display on town property.
One resident, Salma Boulal, attended the meeting and said if Israel gets to fly its flag in the North Andover common, Palestinians deserve the same right, the news station reported.
To ensure order was upheld, police were present at the meeting in large numbers.
Town Manager Melissa Rodrigues reportedly said an application to fly the flag was submitted to the town Oct. 16, about six hours before town officials updated its policy on flying flags.
Prior to the change, the policy allowed a town resident to apply to fly a flag on the town’s flagpole…
“According to the decision in the Shurtleff case, the Town may not prohibit a flag to be flown based on its content, its meaning or its message,” Rodrigues wrote. “This limitation on the Select Board’s discretion indicates that denial of a resident’s flag application under the prior policy places the Town in jeopardy of legal action.”
North Andover, MA town board agreed to hoist the Palestinian flag for a month despite protests from local Jews to appease the 19-year-old Selma Khayan who says it's her 'right' to have it flown https://t.co/WA3aeixktW
— Ben Owen🇺🇸🇮🇱 (@hrkbenowen) November 15, 2023
According to FOX 25 in Boston, there was a heavy police presence at the town meeting where this was decided:
After ‘heated’ meeting, North Andover approves permit to fly Palestinian flag on town common
A request for a permit to raise a Palestinian flag on the North Andover Town Common was approved Monday night.
The flag, which was raised Tuesday morning, will remain up until December 7.
At a select board meeting, which had previously been rescheduled due to “threats of litigation as well as public safety concerns,” residents spoke passionately in both defense and opposition to the flag…
“It was pretty heated…there are those that look at the Palestinian flag as a symbol of hate,” Brian Buzby said.
There was a large police presence at the meeting as a precaution.
I don’t mind saying that as a resident of Massachusetts, this sickens me.
After a night filled with impassioned public comments in North Andover, Palestinian Flag is raised this morning at the common following unanimous vote by Select Board #7News pic.twitter.com/RA5uHI5nTJ
— Steve Cooper (@scooperon7) November 14, 2023
Here’s a local video report:
The New York Post editorial board was frank in their assessment:
North Andover, Massachusetts, says it loud and clear: Israeli lives don’t matter
In North Andover, Mass., the message is clear: Palestinian lives matter — Israeli lives don’t.
The tony town — median household income north of $120,000, per Census data — is flying the red, white, black and green Palestinian flag from its common flagpole.
That’s after an October policy change specifically restricted such flag-flying to governmental speech.
Meaning that this message is in some sense official.
And it’s telling North Andover’s Jews: You’re not welcome.
Indeed, the town council made a special exception to allow the flag to be flown, allegedly because the request to do so came in right before the new policy went into effect.
That doesn’t pass the smell test: The new flag-raising enjoys a black-letter status that prior ones never did.
Now, some may object that the town already flew the Israeli flag after the Hamas atrocities, so criticizing this flag-raising must be racist or colonialist or any of the other pejorative buzzwords favored by the woke left.
No, no and no.
The Post is correct. The left is trying to ‘both sides’ this issue. It is not a ‘both sides’ situation. There is no comparison to the horrors carried out by Hamas on October 7th.
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