Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters poured onto the streets of Brooklyn, New York’s largest district on Saturday to voice their anger at Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Home to between 1.6 and two million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Muslims, New York has for the past three weeks been rocked by demonstrations, rallies and vigils in support of the Palestinians and Israel.
Left-wing American Jewish activists are also up in arms against Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.
Hundreds of people were arrested Friday when police broke up a large demonstration of mostly Jewish New Yorkers who had taken over the main hall of Manhattan’s Grand Central station in protest at Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
“We’re mobilizing all across New York City, flooding Brooklyn,” to call for the “liberation (of) each and every single Palestinian”, said 21-year-old protester Abdullah Akl.
Protest organizer Nerdeen Kiswani took aim at American “politicians” for their unwavering support of Israel.
“We are here as New Yorkers to say that we’re against this and we’re against the politicians, the local politicians as well like New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, who have both pledged unconditional support to Israel,” said Kiswani.
Their stance “means that they provide unconditional support to the killing of our people,” added Kiswani.
Adams, who governs a city of nearly nine million people, including the world’s largest Jewish community after Israel, has repeatedly assured pro-Israel rallies that Israel’s “fight” is New York’s fight too.
New York media and AFPTV estimated the crowd at thousands of demonstrators, who waved “Free Palestine” and “By any means necessary” placards.
Israel unleashed a massive bombing campaign after Hamas gunmen stormed across the border on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and seizing 230 hostages, according to Israeli officials.
Since then, relentless Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed more than 8,000 people, half of them children, the Hamas-controlled health ministry in the territory said.