Hundreds of protestors participated in a pro-Palestinian rally in Brooklyn on August 1, calling for a “globalized intifada” and the demise of the Jewish state of Israel. The demonstration was organized by a group called Within Our Lifetime (WOL), which spells out its mantra to globalize the Intifada “comes from the urgent need to defend lands, resist oppressors and break free from the genocidal grip of U.S. imperialism and Zionism.” The organization has protests planned in New York through the week of September 17, according to their website.
In videos circulated on social media, demonstrators can be heard chanting “We don’t want two states, we want all of it,” and “Revolutionize the Intifada.” Intifada is an Arabic word meaning rebellion or uprising. Two intifadas have been launched against the Jewish state in history, the first commencing in the late 1980’s and the latter in the early 2000’s. In the second intifada, a wave of deadly terrorism targeting Israeli civilians in public spaces resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 Jews. In one devastating case, a mob attacked and lynched two off-duty Israeli reservists at a police station in Ramallah.
By encouraging a “globalized intifada,” demonstrators were actively advocating for a campaign to support a violent resistance against Israel on a global scale. This fact is especially disturbing considering the rise in anti-Semitic violence that has surged New York in recent months. According to NYPD data, hate crimes in New York City alone have climbed by over 139 percent in 2021. In data released by the Anti-Defamation League, New York led the U.S. in anti-Semitic incidents in 2020, making up nearly 17% of the national total.
Following the military conflict between Hamas and Israel in May 2021, violent attacks against Jews have sharply escalated. In late May, a Jewish man was knocked to the ground by two assailants who proceeded to punch and kick him, yelling anti-Semitic slurs throughout the assault. A few days prior, fireworks were thrown from a vehicle targeting Jewish diners at a restaurant. Even after the Israel-Hamas conflict subsided, violent attacks targeting Jews continued. In July, a Jewish man was brutally attacked while walking to synagogue in East Midwood. A few days later, a woman was caught on camera smashing the windows of a Hasidic Jewish school in Williamsburg.
The lack of media attention surrounding the disturbing chants that took place at the August 1 WOL protests is frightening. Calling for violence against Jews and the demise of the only Jewish state has become socially acceptable under the guise of social justice.
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