Mondoweiss / October 9, 2023
Governor Kathy Hochul, Senator Chuck Schumer and a number of other New York Democrats condemned a Times Square rally in support of Palestine.
Multiple New York Democrats condemned a Palestine solidarity rally that took place in the city on Sunday.
Hundreds gathered in Times Square a day after Hamas launched “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” an attack that has reportedly killed over 700 Israelis. The offensive came after years of increasing raids in the West Bank that have killed hundreds of Palestinians. In response to the offensive, Israel launched “Operation Iron Swords”, bombings that have killed over 500 Palestinians so far. “Citizens of Israel, we are at war,” declared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The enemy will pay an unprecedented price.”
“The people of Israel are facing violent terrorist attacks and civilian kidnappings,” tweeted New York Governor Kathy Hochul. “I condemn plans to rally in Times Square tomorrow in support of the perpetrators of these horrific actions. The planned rally is abhorrent and morally repugnant.”
New York’s 18th District Rep. Pat Ryan (D-NY) called the action an “absolute disgrace” and said it was antisemitic because New York City has a large Jewish population. “These actions are an insult to the memories of the innocent men, women, and children brutally murdered,” wrote Ryan. “Our ONLY focus should be mourning those we lost and supporting Israel’s ongoing defense against terrorism.”
“I can’t think of anything more ill-timed and cold-hearted than today’s demonstration in Times Square,” said New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said he, “strongly and unequivocally condemns the hate-filled rally held by the DSA” and any support for the “barbaric, inhumane and despicable terrorist attack by Hamas on the State of Israel and its citizens.”
“The bond between the United States and Israel will always be unbreakable,’’ he said.
In an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation NYC Mayor Eric Adams implied that attendees were “celebrating” the Israeli deaths and said the NYPD would be monitoring the situation. “New York City rejects this,” he said in a statement. “Do not use our streets to spread your hate.”
“This post appears intended to chill lawful, constitutionally protected protest,” tweeted the Center for Constitutional Rights in response to Adams. “Accusing supporters of Palestinian human rights of support for terrorism is dangerous, tired, and ignores 75 years of Israeli colonization and war crimes. Palestinians and solidarity activists know their rights, and they will continue to protest.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres, the Democrat who represents the state’s 15 district, singled out New York City’s Democratic Socialists of America’s (DSA) chapter for supporting the event. “The NYC-DSA is planning to hold a rally tomorrow, glorifying the terrorism of Hamas as ‘resistance.’,” he tweeted. “Never mind the hundreds of Israeli civilians and children who have been murdered, wounded, abducted, and terrorized. Their lives mean nothing to the DSA. Nothing. The NYC-DSA is revealing itself for what it truly is: an antisemitic stain on the soul of America’s largest city. There is a special place in hell for those who glorify the cold-blooded murder of civilians and children.”
New York Democrats Chairman Jay Jacobs said that the socialist organization “sought to justify the wonton [ sic ] violence, terrorism, kidnapping, and murder that was perpetrated on Israel this weekend.”
“[DSA] supports rape, murder, kidnapping, torture, rocket attacks,” tweeted the lobbying group Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), “Sad how sick these folks are.”
The rape claim has made the rounds on social media, but as journalist Alex Kane points out, it comes from a single unnamed source who spoke with Tablet. In 2018 DMFI board member Archie Gottesman tweeted, “Gaza is full of monsters. Time to burn the whole place.”
Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss