Hundreds of pro-Palestine demonstrators assembled in the heart of Manhattan on Monday to voice their disapproval of the Israeli government’s actions.
The gathering followed a significant weekend raid into Israel by Palestinian militants.
In a display of solidarity with Palestine, protesters of all ages convened outside the Israeli consulate general, carrying Palestinian flags and placards with slogans that included “Israel go to hell!” and “NYC stands with Gaza.”
Their presence drew a sharp contrast to a pro-Israel group situated across the heavily guarded street, resulting in verbal confrontations.
This marked the second consecutive day of tense counter-protests in New York City, reflecting the deep divisions over the ongoing Middle East conflict.
Young activists, wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, took turns using a megaphone to advocate for a “free Palestine” and an end to the “colonization and occupation of our Arab land.”
They voiced the view that “Zionism is racism” and chanted slogans like “No justice, no peace” and “No justice on stolen land.” Placards held by the demonstrators drew parallels between the situation in Gaza and the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II.
Leena Abukuwaik, a 45-year-old Palestinian American, shared her anguish, expressing her uncertainty about the well-being of her family in Gaza, including her brother, two sisters, and numerous cousins.
Among the protesters was Ray Gordon, an 81-year-old American retiree who resides between Maryland and Florida. Gordon decried the use of US tax dollars to arm Israel and called for the cessation of all US aid to the country. In response to questions about Hamas’ attack on Israel and the resulting loss of hundreds of Israeli civilians, Gordon stated, “what goes around comes around.”
Maryam Alaniz, a 27-year-old doctoral student, denounced civilian casualties while also criticizing the tactics employed by Hamas. She emphasised the need for a democratic Palestinian struggle organized by the Palestinian people themselves.
The demonstrations in New York underscore the impassioned opinions surrounding the ongoing Middle East conflict, with voices on both sides expressing their grievances and concerns amidst heightened tensions in the region.