Thousands rally for Israel in NY
10 arrested in scuffles between Palestinian supporters and counter-demonstrators in Times Square.
By ALLISON HOFFMAN, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT IN NEW YORK
January 12, 2009 23:42
1 minute read.
NY Israel rally 248.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Thousands of people dressed in symbolic red braved freezing temperatures and the remnants of a winter snowstorm to flood Manhattan's 42nd Street Sunday in support of Operation Cast Lead.
Across town in Times Square, scuffles broke out between Palestinian supporters and counter-demonstrators after someone stepped on a Palestinian flag, police said. Ten people were arrested and seven officers were hurt in the melee.
The twin rallies were the latest shows of solidarity on both sides of the two-week-old military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
"What country would be asked not to defend itself?" New York Sen. Charles Schumer asked the pro-Israel rally in front of the consulate, not far from the United Nations.
"Would any country that had rockets launched at it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year be told, 'Let the rockets continue? Just sit down and talk?'"
Cheering marchers wearing red caps to signify solidarity with those who live with "Red Alerts" in the Negev border zone waved signs labeled "NY loves IL" and sang Am Yisrael Chai.
Many added their support on the Web site Facebook, where people posted messages thanking each other for turning out despite the cold.
Others added messages accusing the Palestinian supporters of anti-Semitism - with some using equally harsh invective to describe those who had attended the rally for Gaza.
"They will all rot in hell, along with their anti-Zionist Jewish friends," wrote one person.
A Jewish group said it planned to rally against the war Monday evening outside the Israeli consulate under the motto "Not in Our Name" - a slogan previously used by anti-war groups opposed to the American invasion of Iraq.
AP contributed to this report.