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White House, New York leaders condemn anti-Israel protests at Nova festival exhibit

New York City exhibit commemorated Israeli killed at Nova Music Festival on Oct 7

Pro-Palestinian protesters in front of the Nova Festival Exhibit in New York City, June 10, 2024. (Photo: Meir Chaimowitz/NurPhoto)

A group of anti-Israel protesters demonstrated outside the Nova Music Festival Exhibit in New York City in Manhattan on Monday.

A crowd of demonstrators, some waving Palestinian flags or flags of the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, and many chanting slogans like “Long live the intifada” and “Kill another Zionist now,” gathered outside the exhibit. Some protestors attempted to breach the barricades intended to keep them away from the entrance.

One demonstrator held a sign that read, “Zionists are not Jews, & not humans,” while another carried a banner reading, “Long live October 7th,” and a third banner read, “Jihad of Victory or Martyrdom.”  

The protests were organized by the pro-Palestine group, “Within Our Lifetime,” which has organized multiple protests against Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas invasion and terror attack that killed 1,200. The group has a history of publicly supporting terrorists and several members have been arrested for attacking Jews, even before the start of the war in Gaza.

Following the demonstration, the group posted the following to 𝕏: “We flooded the streets, took over the subway and shut down the Nova Exhibition.”

The post included the inverted red triangle symbol often used by Hamas on social media to document attacks on Israeli soldiers. 

The following day, anti-Israel activists vandalized the home of Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternak. The suspects hung a sign outside Pasternak’s front door that read: “Anne Pasternak Brooklyn Museum white supremacist Zionist” and also included the inverted red triangle. 

A seemingly related demonstration outside the Palestinian Mission to the United Nations in New York saw demonstrators bringing buckets of rocks, and spreading pro-Hamas leaflets smeared with red paint in front of the buildings. The leaflets accused the Palestinian Authority of not representing Palestinians and contained the phrase, “Long live the intifada.” 

A video released on social media on Wednesday, showed demonstrators wearing pro-Palestine, Hamas, and Hezbollah paraphernalia on a crowded subway car, telling passengers: “Raise your hand if you're a Zionist...this is your chance to get out.” 

The White House and several national and municipal leaders condemned the demonstration and acts of vandalism. 

“Profane banners of terrorist organizations should not be flown anywhere, especially not on American streets,” said White House Spokesman Andrew Bates. “Antisemitism has no place in the United States.” 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “This is not peaceful protest or free speech, this is a crime, and it's overt, unacceptable antisemitism.” 

Adams also tweeted a statement condemning the demonstration. 

“Any New Yorker who stands for peace cannot stand next to those waving Hamas and Hezbollah flags, especially at an exhibit commemorating the victims of the Nova Music Festival massacre,” he wrote. 

U.S. House Speaker Republican Mike Johnson called the demonstration "shameful," adding: "Plain and simple, it's dangerous behavior."  

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York condemned the demonstration outside the Nova exhibit. 

“How repugnant! How despicable!" Schumer said. "How terribly unnerving that humanity could sink that low.” 

The NYC Police Department announced that its Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the antisemitic vandalism directed at Jewish board members of the Brooklyn Museum, including Pasternak. 

According to the creators of the Nova exhibit, it was intended to be “an in-depth remembrance of the brutal October 7th attack.” As a result of the demonstration, they announced that the exhibit would be extended another week through June 22.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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