Israeli flag stolen from Monsey service center in Rockland County

Joe Torres Image
Monday, May 20, 2024
Israeli flag stirs controversy, stolen from Rockland County business
Joe Torres has the story in Monsey about the stolen flag.

MONSEY, Rockland County (WABC) -- Someone early Friday morning ripped down the Israeli flag from outside a service center in Monsey.

But the Jewish business owners told us they're equally disturbed by who they believe committed the vial act.

They blame fellow Jews in Monsey who belong to an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect.

They base that claim on the numerous people who each day come in to their long-time service center and ask them to take down the flag.

That very scenario happened on Monday while we were there.

Joel Wagschal gave us the reasoning why.

"We are jews. We are against Israel. Because we are Jews as we believe Israel is a Zionist state, it is not a Jewish state," he said.

ALSO READ: NYPD investigating string of robberies stemming from Facebook Marketplace sales

Joe Kurek, 73, has owned the Monsey Service Center for 40-years.

The stolen flag was a gift from a dear friend who died last year - a friend who served in the military and brought the flag from Israel to Monsey.

Joe's daughter manages the shop. She told us each day she turns away potential customers who say they'll give her some business if she takes down the flag. No way, says Lauren Pepper. She says the flag is about much more than just religion. It's also about pride and identity.

"My father was born in Israel. He came here when he was 12. His parents were survivors of the holocaust. They went to Israel after the war. It's in our blood. It's who we are," Pepper said.

A new flag is up and the owners say they are not taking it down.

They say what they really want is the original flag back.

ALSO READ | Celebrity chef evicted from NYC apartment, landlord says he hasn't paid rent in years

N.J. Burkett has the story from Brooklyn.

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* Follow us on YouTube

* More local news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.