June 21, 2024
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Clifton City Hall Raises Israeli Flag

Assemblywoman Rosy Bagolie

Following the media, Jews may feel that Israel has no friends left. Yet on May 19 at New Jersey’s Clifton City Hall’s annual Israeli flag raising to commemorate Israel’s Independence Day, many politicians came to show their steadfast support for Israel and the Jewish community.

The high turnout of elected officials stunned many of the participants, especially since Clifton is also home to a large Palestinian-American community. “I was flattered and surprised to see so many elected officials not afraid to come out and support Israel,” said Sara Rosenblum, a Clifton resident. “Sometimes we forget how many friends we do still have.”

Elected officials who came to show their support included State Sen. John McKeon; Assemblywoman Rosy Bagolie; Assemblyman Gary Schaer; Passaic Mayor Hector Lora; Clifton Mayor Ray Grabowski, District Director Nancy Everett, Rep, office of Rep. Bill Pascrell; Passaic County Sheriff Department Chief Thomas Adamo; former assemblyman and Republican candidate for governor Jack Ciattarelli; as well as numerous city council and board of education members.

Mayor Hector Lora

To the crowd of hundreds, Lora spoke about Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas as they choose. “The arsonist does not get to criticize or complain about the measures or means taken to put the fire out.”

Bagolie spoke of her own grandparent’s flight from antisemitism to the Dominican Republic and about her disgust and fear of the rise of antisemitism in New Jersey. She called on lawmakers to support the IHRA definition of antisemitism that is before the N.J. State Assembly.

Clifton City Councilman Tony Latona, who served in the American military in Israel, said, “This isn’t about the Palestinian or Israel land dispute. This is about the world coming together in solidarity to eradicate terrorism.”

Israeli flag outside City Hall.

With the Israeli flag waving proudly next to the American flag for one week outside of City Hall, the Jewish community could remember once again that they are not alone.


Aliza Bloom lives in Clifton and teaches reading at the Clifton Cheder. She is also a member fo the Jewish Community Council.

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