May 23, 2024
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Livingston Town Council Adopts Anti-BDS Resolution

In a crowded chamber filled with over 100 Livingston residents, the Livingston Town Council became the first municipality in Greater MetroWest to unanimously approve a resolution condemning all efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel. The resolution was introduced by Deputy Mayor Shaun Klein at the request of the family of Mark Schonwetter, a Holocaust survivor and longtime resident of Livingston. Schonwetter’s daughters, Ann Schonwetter Arnold, of Norwood, NJ, and lifelong Livingston resident Isabella Schonwetter Fiske, worked with Simon Wiesenthal Center Eastern Region Director, and Englewood councilman, Michael Cohen to draft the resolution, which was first passed in New York City, Englewood, NJ, and Norwood, NJ.

The Town Council voted to adopt Resolution R-16-206, entitled “Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Livingston Condemning All Efforts to Delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Movement to Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction the People of Israel,” at its Monday night Town Hall meeting.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center commends the City of Livingston, New Jersey for adding its voice to the growing American chorus denouncing the immoral, unfair and anti-Semitic BDS movement. We hope the actions of Livingston’s leadership will encourage cities throughout the United States to defeat this extremist campaign. As Eastern Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, I was very proud to testify on behalf of this resolution and personally witness the steadfastness of Livingston’s governing body as it passed this important resolution. The Wiesenthal Center also commends the Arnold, Fiske, and Schonwetter families and MetroWest Federation for helping Livingston became the third municipality in the state, and the first in central New Jersey to stand up to Anti-Semitism, hate and bigotry,” said Cohen.

The Israel World Affairs Committee of the Community Relations Committee of MetroWest New Jersey had informed the community about the resolution, and it was read by the council members before an emotional crowd. Ten members of the public conveyed heartfelt appreciation to the Council for raising awareness and uniting the community in support of the State of Israel.

“We’re gratified by the Livingston Town Council’s unanimous vote and the strong message they’re sending to other local officials across the state. We are taking this resolution to every town and city across the Greater MetroWest catchment area and applaud the Livingston board for being the first to uphold and affirm core American values by rejecting BDS,” commented Linda Scherzer, director, CRC, Greater MetroWest Jewish Federation.

“I am so happy and proud to be a part of a community that so wholeheartedly supports the anti-BDS resolution and is willing to stand up to anti-Semitism and intolerance,” said Fiske.

Livingston lawmakers in attendance at the meeting were Mayor Alfred M. Anthony, Deputy Mayor Shawn R. Klein, Rufino Fernandez, Jr., Edward Meinhardt and Michael Silverman.

By Sheri Goldberg and JLNJ Staff

 

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