Politics may make for strange bedfellows, but don’t expect to see Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour and City Council Candidate Kalman Yeger turning out the night light and slipping beneath the covers anytime soon.
That after both Sarsour and Yeger – arch adversaries in terms of Israeli-Palestinian relations – both categorically denied that Sarsour is supporting Yeger in his run-up to the Nov. 7 election against Yoni Hikind for the open 44th District City Council seat covering Boro Park, Bensonhurst, Midwood and part of Kensington.
But according to Muslim peace activist Abu Naser Khaliquzzaman, the founder of the Interfaith Dialogue Project, whose mission is to promote dialogue and trust between communities of different faiths, Sasour has been directly and indirectly speaking to mosques and Muslim organizations telling those that live in the district that they should vote for Yeger.
“Several Muslim people told me that Linda Sarsour is indirectly and directly supporting Yeger,” said Khaliquzzaman, a Bangladeshi Muslim. “She is selling Yeger because she is trying to bring [Assemblyman] Dov Hikind (Yoni Hikind’s father] down in the next election.”
Khaliquzzaman, a Kensington resident, lives in City Councilmember Brad Lander‘s (Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) district about a block away from the 44th City Council District line. However, he said he is a former Community Board 12 member and is quite familiar with both current City Councilmember David Greenfield, who supports Yeger and Dov Hikind, with whom he has a close realtionship.
“Dov Hikind has always been there for the Muslim community. When we have a problem, his door is always open to the Muslim community and if we need help, right away we get results,” said Khaliquzzaman.
The elder Hikind has been one of the most vocal elected officials speaking out against Sarsour, a staunch advocate for the Palestinian people, calling her a supporter of terrorism and violence in the Middle East. This includes most recently leading a large protest against her being a commencement speaker at CUNY.
But Sarsour, a national figure, born and raised in Bay Ridge’s Palestinian enclave and a supporter of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement against Israel, dismissed that she has anything to do whatsoever with the city council race.
“100 percent denied,” she responded in a text message to KCP when asked is she had any involvement – directly or indirectly – in support of Yeger.
Yeger called the allegation a Hikind smear campaign with absolutely no foundation of truth.
“It’s an absolute lie. This is a Hikind manufactured lie. I have never met her [Sarsour] in my life, and my Twitter feed is chock full of my notations about this hate mongering terror sympathizer for the last several years,” said Yeger.