update deskAntisemitism

Mob on New York City subway: ‘Zionists: This is your chance to get out’

Antisemites becomne increasingly bold in the Big Apple.

New York City subway car on May 3, 2024. Credit: Xackery Irving/Shutterstock.
New York City subway car on May 3, 2024. Credit: Xackery Irving/Shutterstock.

Anti-Israel protesters continued to run wild across New York as masked agitators on a city subway car Monday demanded to know if there were any Zionists on board, while elsewhere in the city vandals attacked the home of the Jewish director of the Brooklyn Museum. 

The back-to-back events coming on the heels of a raucous pro-Hamas rally outside an exhibition on the victims of the Oct. 7 massacre raised concern that rabid antisemitism of a radical minority of agitators was spiraling out of control in New York City.

The group of masked passengers on the subway demanded to know if there were any “Zionists” on the train—then warned them, “This is your chance to get out,” according to a video circulating on social media. 

The video shows the slogan being yelled inside the packed subway car by a man with the crowd of activists echoing his words.

Less than 48 hours later, the New York homes of the Jewish director of the Brooklyn Museum and other non-Jewish museum officials were vandalized Wednesday in a coordinated attack.

The assailants smeared red paint and graffiti on the Brooklyn Heights home of Anne Pasternak, director of the museum, and hung a banner at the entrance to the museum director’s apartment building that accused her of being a “white supremacist Zionist.”

“Blood on your hands” was also splashed in red paint on the walkway leading to her building.

The homes of two trustees and the museum’s president and CEO Kimberly Panicek Trueblood, whose husband is Jewish, were also targeted in the overnight attack that was carried out under cover of darkness.

“This is not peaceful protest or free speech,” New York Mayor Eric Adams wrote in a post on X where he shared the images. “This is a crime, and it’s overt, unacceptable antisemitism. These actions will never be tolerated in New York City for any reason.”

“The latest lesson in anti-Zionism as antisemitism,” Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) posted on X. “The anti-Zionist left is not only seeking to purge Zionists (i.e. most Jews) from public places like public transit. It is vandalizing the private homes of individual Jews.”

The Brooklyn Museum was itself stormed by protesters last month who damaged artwork and unfurled a “Free Palestine” banner from the roof.  Dozens of people were arrested in that incident. 

Earlier this week, a mob of protesters chanting “intifada revolution” rallied outside a New York City exhibit memorializing the hundreds of victims of the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack on the Supernova music festival in southern Israel. 

The crowd lit flares and waved PLO flags, along with one associated with the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, in front of the exhibition on Wall Street during what was billed by organizers as a “citywide day of rage for Gaza.”

The protest was widely condemned across political lines, including a denunciation from the White House, and the exhibition will now run until June 22 due to overwhelming demand.

Some American Jewish leaders are now calling for a ban on masks in New York City due to the explosion of antisemitism by mobs with hidden faces. 

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