During a season when many U.S. municipalities were officially marking Israeli Independence Day, Jeffrey Jones, the mayor of Paterson, NJ, designated Sunday, May 19 as “Palestinian-American Day” in his city with a proclamation and had a Palestinian flag hoisted over Paterson’s City Hall. The event was organized by a possible fraud convict.
Khader Abuassab organized the city-sanctioned celebration, which was attended by about 120 people who danced and shouted “long live Palestine.” South Paterson is home to many Palestinian Americans, many of whom call the city “Little Ramallah,” according to the Jewish World Review. New Jersey Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, a Democrat representing the state’s 34th district, presented a ceremonial resolution marking the event, and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) presented a letter of Special Congressional Recognition.
The Jewish Press reported that Abuassab, or a person of the same name, age and place of residence, had been sentenced to 13 months in prison for racking up more than $600,000 in credit card fraud with more than 40 different credit cards. He is also known for advising Muslims in the community not to cooperate with authorities during the spring of 2012, when the New York Police Department was monitoring Muslim businesses and institutions in the New York area.