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Video: Paterson, NJ raises the Palestinian flag over city hall for Palestinian-American Day

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 13 Comments

Exciting news. One day after the Palestinian flag reached the top of the world, a flag raising ceremony was held in Paterson, New Jersey (video 3:12) accompanied by the Palestinian national anthem and cheers of “Long Live Palestine”. It’s probable Paterson has become the very first municipality in the United States to raise the Palestinian flag in front of their city hall. Last Sunday dignitaries were in attendance and the day, May 19th, was being honored as Palestinian-American Day in Paterson. JTA reports: New Jersey city honors Palestinian-Americans:

Mayor Jeffery Jones read a proclamation on Sunday marking May 19 as Palestinian-American Day in Paterson to cheers of “Long Live Palestine,” …… Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United Nations, was among some 150 people who attended the ceremony.

South Paterson is known as “Little Ramallah,” due to the numbers of Palestinian-Americans that live and work there.


Local and national Arab-American leaders said they were not aware of any other U.S. municipality raising a Palestinian flag.

Screen Shot 2013 05 21 at 12 31 54 AM 635x357 1
Palestinian-Americans raise the Palestinian flag at Paterson, NJ City Hall on May 19, 2013. (photo credit: image capture from YouTube video uploaded by westbank04)
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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13 Responses

  1. Cliff
    May 21, 2013, 3:21 pm


  2. ritzl
    May 21, 2013, 3:32 pm


    But now cometh the gush of “hostile environment” “anti-semitism” claims.

    • DavidK
      May 21, 2013, 4:44 pm

      Don’t forget balance

      • ritzl
        May 22, 2013, 1:16 pm

        Heh. But I thought that was Sarah Palin’s lapel’s job. Oh wait, define balance. ;)

  3. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    May 21, 2013, 6:15 pm

    I’ll bet this event could happen in Dearborn, Michigan also.

    By the way, a century ago, in 1913, workers in the silk industry in Patterson went on a strike that lasted six months, ending in defeat. US workers have often had a record of militant struggle. But few people know about it. Why not? It’s not reported.
    At the of the Second World War, US newspapers had 1000 labor reporters nationwide. Now they’re all gone.

  4. lysias
    May 21, 2013, 6:50 pm

    Also quite a few Turks in downtown Paterson. I once had delicious pide (pita) in a pide salonu on Main Street.

  5. just
    May 21, 2013, 7:36 pm

    Stupendous news!

    Hopefully, this is the first of many.

  6. dbroncos
    May 21, 2013, 11:58 pm

    Hooray for Patterson!

    This is off topic but there’s an interesting brouhaha bubbling in Boulder, CO where Boulder City Council is considering a measure to take on Nablus as a sister city. Nablus would be added to a roster of six other sister cities which includes: Dushanbe, Tajikistan; Jalapa, Nicaragua; Kisumu, Kenya; Lhasa, Tibet; Mante, Mexico; Yamagata, Japan; and Yateras, Cuba. Boulder has a large Bhuddhist population with close ties to Tibet and a strong, personal witness to the injustices suffered by the Tibetan population under the Chinese government. It’s my impression that the plight of Tibetans is a bigger deal and has a longer history of sympathy among Boulderites than do the Palestinians. However, many Boulder residents who are invested in human rights concerns are coming around on the I/P issue as well.

    As can be expected, the JDL and some local Zionists are mobilizing to stop the initiative. JDL Regional Director, Scott Levin, is objecting to the sister city proposal saying in the Boulder Daily Camera: ‘the group promoting the sister-city relationship has political motivations, and the city should not take sides in a “complex, ongoing international dispute.” ‘ On June 10 the Nablus-Boulder sister city organizers and their supporters will be in attendance at the Boulder City Council hearing on the subect. I’ll be there and I hope Kathleen can make it too. If the City Council passes the measure Boulder will become the 4th city in the US to sister up with a Palestinian city.

    The US Campaign to End The Occupation site has a petition up for those who wish to notify Boulder City Council of their support for the sister city initiative. Zionists are weighing in and so should we. I encourage any and all to do so.

  7. Pamela Olson
    Pamela Olson
    May 22, 2013, 2:10 am

    Actually, there’s good news — this isn’t the first. Something similar was done in Santa Clara, California just a few days ago! I was a speaker at the Palestinian Cultural Day event, and the Palestinian flag was raised at the County of Santa Clara Government Center. It’s apparently been done for the past ten years.

    I think it’s just not covered much by the press, partly because I think the organizers fear a backlash if the event becomes too widely known and reported on…

  8. ramzijaber
    May 22, 2013, 8:23 am

    Simply beautiful!!! Way to go Paterson!!!!!! Hopefully soon more to come.

  9. Citizen
    May 22, 2013, 9:17 am

    Yesterday, listening to talk radio on way home from animal vet, the host & his female sidekick were ridiculing showing of a Palestinian flag–they told the audience, different national flags were honored in serial fashion, celebrating the nation’s contributions to the world, but they could not name one single Palestinian contribution–except the Palestinians wanting to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Lots of host guffaws and titters abounded over the airwaves across America.

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