Hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered in New York on Monday to voice their condemnation of the Israeli government’s actions and to call for the United States to cease its support for its Middle East ally. 

The demonstration in the heart of Manhattan followed a significant weekend raid by Palestinian group Hamas into Israel

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Amidst a heavy police presence, demonstrators of all ages gathered outside the Israeli consulate general, waving Palestinian flags and displaying signs with slogans such as “Israel go to hell!” and “NYC stands with Gaza.”On the opposite side of the street, a pro-Israel group stood behind security barriers, engaging in verbal confrontations with the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.These protests marked the second consecutive day of tense counter-protests in the city, with pro-Palestinian residents and supporters of Israel facing off.Young activists, wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, took turns using a megaphone to demand a “free Palestine” and the “end of the colonisation and occupation of our Arab land.” They asserted that “Zionism is racism” and chanted slogans like “No justice, no peace” and “No justice on stolen land.” Their placards drew comparisons 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, expressed her distress, saying that her family in Gaza, including her brother, two sisters, and numerous cousins, were in an uncertain situation, with no news of their well-being.Ray Gordon, an 81-year-old American retiree, protested against the use of US tax dollars to arm Israel, calling for an end to all US aid to the country. When asked about Hamas’ attack on Israel and the resulting loss of hundreds of Israeli civilians, Gordon expressed his belief that such an event was inevitable, stating, “what goes around comes around.”Maryam Alaniz, a 27-year-old doctoral student, denounced civilian casualties while also criticising the tactics of Hamas. She emphasised the need for a democratic Palestinian struggle organized by the Palestinian people themselves.The demonstrations in New York reflect the deep divides and impassioned opinions surrounding the ongoing Middle East conflict, with voices on both sides expressing their grievances and concerns.


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2023-10-10

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