The Rabbinical Alliance of America – Igud HaRabbonim, representing nearly one thousand rabbis serving throughout the United States – stands in support of New York City Councilman Kalman Yeger and applauds Councilman Yeger on his stellar record of public service.

Recently, controversy has arisen over a statement made by Councilman Yeger that, “Palestine does not exist.” “The comment is neither a hateful nor an Islamophobic statement,” stated Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium member of the Rabbinical Alliance of America and Torah Editor of the Jewish Press. Rabbi Klass added that, “Councilman Yeger was referring to a legal definition of Palestine with a defined border as a State…There is no historical or legal evidence nor claim of a Palestinian state. Councilman Yeger’s statement neither disparages nor shows disrespect for the population who reside in the areas commonly referred to as Palestine. The people living in the area referred to as Palestine must be treated and handled with respect and dignity due all human beings.”

Rabbi Klass further stated, “an examination of the public service record of Councilman Yeger reveals a record of distinction and exceptional advocacy for all residents of the councilman’s district. There is no need for Councilman Yeger to resign nor apologize for invoking a legal definition of what constitutes Palestine. As Americans we have the right to respectfully disagree about these historical and legal facts. However, Councilman Yeger has not engaged in offensive speech that requires any curative steps on his part.”

The Rabbinical Alliance of America prays for peace in the Middle East. May He who makes peace in Heaven make Peace in this world; may bloodshed, terror and violence be forgotten; and may that region become safe for all of it inhabits to enjoy life in security and well-being.