Daily Israel Report

Hikind Rejects New York Criticism of Gaza Solidarity Mission

Many irate readers, and Dov Hikind himself, responded sharply to criticism by the New York Post of his solidarity trip with the residents of Gush Katif and the northern Shomron.
First Publish: 3/18/2005, 7:17 AM / Last Update: 3/17/2005, 10:21 PM

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind has rejected hometown criticism of his leading a group of more than 40 Americans to stay with Jewish residents in Gush Katif, to demonstrate their opposition to the government plan to evacuate them

The New York Post published an editorial Wednesday stating that Hikind's trip was interference in Israel's affairs. The Brooklyn legislator responded that Diaspora Jews do have a right to express their opinions on Israeli issues. Hikind added that his activities are no more of an interference than efforts by American non-Orthodox leaders, who try to change Israel's conversion laws.

The paper's letters section was flooded by irate responses from readers of the conservative daily.

"It might be fair to criticize Hikind for interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, but only if the rest of the international community would refrain from doing so as well," wrote Adina Kutnicki of Ridgewood, N.J. "Unfortunately, quite the opposite is the case. Since before the Oslo Accords, Europe, the United Nations and in no small measure the United States have all been interfering with Israeli domestic policy. While in theory Israel is a sovereign nation, European machinations through the Peres Peace Center - into which millions of dollars have been funneled expressly to insinuate Europe into domestic left-wing policy - have turned Israel's domestic affairs upside down...Due to the existential dangers that Israel now faces, Hikind is doing the only thing that he can do as a Jewish person who cares about Israel's survival."

"I am stunned by The Post's opposition to Hikind's solidarity mission to Gaza," wrote Sergey Kadinsky of Forest Hills, N.Y. "At a time when people are threatened with forced expulsion from the homes they built, and those homes being given to local terrorists, Hikind is doing right by standing up for his fellow Jews. "

Another writer, David Rothschild from Brooklyn, N.Y., contrasted Hikinds trip to that of more than 40 world leaders and the mayor of New
York City. "[NYC] Mayor Bloomberg visited Jerusalem to celebrate the memory of dead Jews. Hikind went to Israel because he likes live Jews better than dead ones," Rothschild wrote.

The mission, which includes two New York Supreme Court judges, is set to leave for New York tonight (Thursday).