Israel Democracy NYC

Sustained over the course of the entire week, the protest movement for democracy followed Prime Minister Netanyahu to New York throughout the entirety of his recent trip. At Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, the main protest on Friday against the judicial overhaul coup in Israel was a remarkable morning event protesting the appearance of Netanyahu at the UN that morning. Gathered together was a remarkable mingling of Israelis, Israeli Americans, and American Jews. Mainstream and to the left of mainstream, they were some 2000+ people supporting the democracy in Israel. Everyone was there: the people from UnXceptable, Brothers and Sisters in Arms, Pink Front, and the anti-occupation bloc. The few Palestinian flags at the protest seemed to bother no one. With no obvious signs of friction between the various factions, the protesters filled up at least half of the plaza. They made a lot of noise that the surrounding skyscrapers magnified and carried. For its part, a marginal contingent of Bibists was kept at a distance from the main protest. Also present were a tiny contingent from Neturei Karta, and a large contingent of Habad youngsters, whose presence was, one could say, largely an irritant. Animated at the protest, the public face of Israel and the Jewish community in the United States was secular, democratic, and liberal.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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3 Responses to Israel Democracy NYC

  1. dmf says:
    “Known as the ‘founding father of Arab-American literature’ Rihani, spoke out against Zionism and said the only “possible and practical solution [in Palestine] would involve a decision that the Jewish National Home was now complete, and henceforth to be developed from within and not from without. Jewish immigration and land buying would be stopped at once, and a national representative government would take the place of the [British] Mandate.”
    The broadcast prompted a charge of anti-Semitism against WNYC from City Alderman Samson Inselbuch. Three days after the broadcast, the Brooklyn representative was successful in getting the legislative body to approve a resolution condemning the station for spreading political propaganda and race hatred. The next day WNYC’s program director Seymour N. Siegel was on the phone to Arthur Garfield Hayes at the ACLU. “

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