New Jersey city honors Palestinian-Americans

(JTA) — The northern New Jersey city of Paterson raised a Palestinian flag at City Hall as part of an event honoring its Palestinian-American citizens.

Mayor Jeffery Jones read a proclamation on Sunday marking May 19 as Palestinian-American Day in Paterson to cheers of “Long Live Palestine,” The Record newspaper reported.

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.

Event organizer Khader Abuassab said he received harassing phone calls before the rite, according to The Record.

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

“If they’re citizens of the city of Paterson, they have every right to raise the flag,” Jones told the newspaper.