ADC Statement Condemning Remarks by the Mayor of NYC

Washington, D.C. | October 10, 2023 — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) vehemently condemns the recent comments made by the Mayor of New York City Eric Adams regarding the peaceful protests in support of Palestinian rights. Advocacy for the rights of the Palestinian people is not tantamount to supporting terrorism or spreading hate. Such misrepresentations are a clear attempt to stifle the voices of those the Mayor disagrees with. 

We firmly believe that every individual has the right to freedom of expression, as enshrined in the First Amendment. It is deeply concerning when public figures, especially those serving diverse cities like New York, use their platform to mischaracterize and vilify peaceful movements and their supporters. We recognize the Mayor’s right to his personal views, even if they appear to support occupation and apartheid. However, as a public servant representing all New Yorkers, it’s unacceptable to attack Americans for exercising their constitutional rights.

Such statements, coming from a position of authority, not only attempt to chill free speech but may also embolden extremist elements to target and vilify Arab Americans. This creates a hostile environment filled with hate and the prospect of violence.

Arab Americans have been an integral part of New York City’s fabric for generations. The city boasts some of the largest Arab communities in the nation and thrives on the vibrancy and contributions of its Arab neighborhoods. We, too, are New Yorkers, and our voices deserve respect and space to be heard.

ADC will always stand against attempts to silence or intimidate us. For far too long, peaceful advocacy for Palestinian rights has faced undue criticism from American politicians aligned with Israel. It is deeply disappointing to witness the Mayor resorting to baseless and divisive rhetoric, pandering to anti-Palestinian factions, instead of serving as a unifying force for his constituents.

We call on the Mayor to recognize and respect the rights of all New Yorkers, including the city’s robust Arab American community. We will not be silenced by politicians who choose opportunism over principle. Our dedication to justice and human rights remains unwavering.

Abed Ayoub, our National Executive Director, states, “Mayor Adams’ recent remarks not only mischaracterize the peaceful advocacy for Palestinian rights but also deepen the divisions in the city. All New Yorkers deserve leaders who prioritize unity and respect over divisive rhetoric. The ADC will continue to champion the rights of all, regardless of political pressure.”

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