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“Rockland for Ceasefire” Demands Charges Against Minor be Dropped and Israeli Flags Be Removed From Government Spaces; Briefs

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“Rockland for Ceasefire” Demands Charges Against Minor be Dropped and Israeli Flags be Removed from Government Spaces

Rockland for Ceasefire, a recently formed group that is demanding an end to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, plans to march and rally on Dec. 19 from the County Building to Clarkstown Town Hall to protest the criminal charging of a 15-year-old Palestinian-American boy who tore down an Israeli flag from the Clarkstown Police Department building to protest Israel’s mass bombardment of Palestinian civilians.

In addition to insisting the charges be dropped, the group is also gathering to demand Israeli flags be removed from all county buildings. The group plans to hand petitions to County Executive Ed Day and Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann.

The group contends that displaying a flag of a foreign country in shared government spaces, funded by tax dollars from all community members, is not only illegal but shows selective favoritism of one segment of the county, while suppressing others.

A press release issued by Marah Helalat of Rockland for Ceasefire says, “In violation of a law prohibiting all but U.S. flags on County property, Rockland has displayed Israeli flags at various county sites.” The release also says, “In addition to this young man, two other Haredi Jewish men opposed to Zionism were also arrested recently for removing Israeli flags at the Ramapo Town Hall.”

Rockland For Ceasefire’s interpretation of the law is incorrect.

Rockland County says its policy is not to fly flags of other countries on county buildings, but the United States Supreme Court in Shurtleff v. City of Boston found the flying of a foreign flag to be a permissible expression of government speech, though it also found that if a government allows third-parties to fly flags on municipal buildings, it cannot discriminate based on content.

This story has been updated to include a comment from Rockland County.

Big Lots In Nanuet Plans To Close Its Rockland County Location

Big Lots at 125 Route 59 in Nanuet is another retail casualty. A sign there says:: “store closing, this location only.”

It has been reported that shoppers who have been to the Nanuet store recently have found store shelves are already empty and inventory is depleted.

Three of the 68 Big Lots stores in New York that were set to close soon included locations at Central Ave in Colonie, NY, 103 Old Country Rd, Riverhead, NY, and the store located on North Plank Road, Newburgh, NY. According to a store employee at the Newburgh location, the store would be closing on January 14th, 2024 as they prepare to move into a new location in the Mid Valley Mall near Market 32 on North Plank Road.

That store is slated open this summer.

Hudson Gateway REALTOR® Foundation Presents $2,000 Donation to Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley

The Hudson Gateway REALTOR® Foundation, the charitable arm of the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS®, recently presented a check for $2,000 to Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley, located in Tarrytown, NY.

Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Since 1986, Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley has granted the wishes of more than 3,200 children with critical illnesses in the Hudson Valley region. Serving the eight counties of Delaware, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester, the Chapter’s mission is to ensure that every eligible child residing in the Hudson Valley who qualifies for a wish is granted one. There are more than 220 children waiting for their wishes to be granted.

“We are so grateful to have dedicated community partners like the HG REALTOR® Foundation who believe in our important mission,” said Kristine Burton, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley President & CEO.  “Their generosity over the years has truly transformed lives, one wish at a time.”