No to Town Flying Israel Flag

No to Town Flying Israel Flag

© David Burton 2023

Handcuff the Criminals

     At a town council meeting in Winthrop, Massachusetts on 27 November 2023, concerns about the town’s flag policy as it related to a potential proclamation for the town to raise the Israeli flag were brought up by a former town council candidate.
     The issue came up at the town council meeting following the vicious attack by Hamas terrorists on Israel and Israel’s response against the organization that masterminded and perpetrated the unprovoked attack on Israel's civilians.[1]

     The attack on Israel and Israel’s response was followed, at various places in the United States, by several antisemitic and anti-Israel demonstrations. “Nationally, reports of antisemitic incidents rose by 316% in the month after Hamas militants attacked Israel.(Ref. 2)

     Raising an Israeli flag – or the flag of any other nation or international entity other than that of the United States should not be a municipal function. City and town governments have other more important business to which they need to attend. Supporting or opposing the actions of Israel is not one of those functions. We have a federal government and a national Department of State to addresse such issues.

     Flying an Israeli flag can be done by any resident or organization in the cities and towns of these United States. Individuals or organizations can place an Israeli flag, or other appropriate symbol, in their windows, on their front lawns, on the backs of their shirts or wherever they wish.

     In Newburyport, Massachusetts the issue of public flag flying was addressed by Congregation Ahavas Achim Rabbi Alex Matthews who said that his congregation made sure to fly Israeli flags outside their Washington Street synagogue as soon as they could following the Hamas attack. He made clear that he was not interested in flying the flag of Israel in front of the Newburyport City Hall.
     “We feel comfortable making a statement on our own private property but I also know from my time on the Human Rights Commission that flying a flag can be incredibly contentious,” he said. “So that’s not something that really occurred to me or I thought to ask the city to do. There are better ways to show solidarity and support that hopefully doesn’t raise tempers and blood pressures the same way that flying a flag does.” [3]

     People and organizations can make more significant statements about their support for Israel and, at the same time, help the victims of the Hamas terrorism by donating to any one of a number of Jewish, Israeli, American or international charities. One such charity is Magen David Adom, which is the Israeli version of the American Red Cross.

  1. Council Debates Town Flag Policy, Adam Swift, Winthrop Transcript, 30 November 2023.
  2. The Jewish National Fund USA’s Denver conference and the protests around it, explained, Matt Bloom and Kyle Harris, Denverite, 30 November 2023.
  3. Local leaders react to decision to fly Palestinian flag, Jim Sullivan, Newburyport News, 20 November 2023.


  14 December 2023 {ARTICLE 603; UNDECIDED_85}    
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