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Brooklyn council member taunts Vickie Paladino in dispute over possible Gaza ceasefire

Dec. 18, 2023 By Iryna Shkurhan

Several elected officials came to the defense of eastern Queens Council Member Vickie Paladino after a Brooklyn council member told her to repeat her pro-Israel sentiments “face to face,” instead of on social media. 

The squabble began after Council Member Shahana Hanif, who represents the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and Borough Park, posted a photo of a Brooklyn bodega on social media where the owner had put up signage calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. 

Hanif, who was pictured with the deli owner, included a message with the photo that read that “the community’s got his back.”

The bodega, located on Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene, also had some strong anti-Israel signage on display that was included in the photo.

 “To our world leaders, you created a killing machine that you can’t control. Where is your humanity? Go F**k Yourselves. #CeasefireNow,” the signage reads. Hanif encouraged locals to support the establishment with a visit. 

Paladino replied to Hanif’s post on X, formerly known as Twitter, with her thoughts on the matter. It is not the first time Paladino has expressed support for Israel following the Oct. 7 terrorist attack, where Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis and took 240 hostages.

“We can have a ceasefire the minute Hamas surrenders. It’s pretty simple actually,” Paladino wrote on X on Saturday evening. 

Paladino’s post got a quick rebuke.

“Would love for you to say this to me face to face, Vickie!,” Hanif replied an hour later.  

Not long after, Republican Brooklyn and Queens council members, who are all in the Common-Sense caucus alongside Paladino, took to the platform to denounce Hanif’s reply. 

“It’s very concerning to see my colleague @VickieforNYC being threatened with violence by another member of the council. @CMShahanaHanif this behavior needs to stop, we are members of the NYC Council, not 6th graders in the schoolyard,” wrote Councilwoman Joann Ariola of District 32, which encompasses Ozone Park and the Rockaways, the following day.

Then fellow Queens Council Member, Robert Holden, chimed in with a defense of Paladino’s sentiment.  

“Supporting Hamas while threatening a fellow Council Member. What a tweet. Vickie is absolutely correct in her stance,” wrote Councilman Robert Holden

Hanif did not respond to the tweets and was not immediately available for comment.

Back in February, south Brooklyn councilmember Inna Vernikov introduced a resolution to recognize April 29 as ‘End Jew Hatred Day’ in the city. It was referred to the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations, and was subsequently passed by the city council. 

@ShahanaFromBK l, who proudly voted NO on my reso to “End Jew Hatred”, wants to “globalize the intifada” aka turn the violent uprising against Jews into a global movement. And she’s got the audacity to go after my colleague @CMvpaladino who spoke up against Hamas and against Jew hatred?” wrote councilwoman Inna Vernikov, who represents parts of south Brooklyn. 

Hanif was the only one, out of the seven committee members, to abstain from the vote. Fellow Brooklyn Council Member Rita Joseph, who represents Flatbush, was marked absent for the vote.  When it went before the council for a full voice vote, Hanif and Sandy Nurse, also of Brooklyn, said they opposed it.

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