MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) — There are more than 2 million Jewish people living in the New York City area, making it the world’s second-largest metropolitan Jewish community right behind Tel Aviv.
So there is anger, outrage, and prayers across the tri-state area for so many suffering in Israel amid attacks launched by Hamas.
They sang songs of peace for Israel at Makom, New York, which calls itself a new kind of Jewish community. Residents across Long Island also gathered to show solidarity with Israel following the terrorist attacks.
Rabbi Deborah Bravo brought together local leaders to help the community reflect and pray.
“It’s just so important for us to be able to stand together in solidarity to be able to hold each other in these most challenging times,” Bravo, founder of Makom NY Jewish community, told PIX11 News.
Earlier Sunday, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators met during heated protests in Times Square.
The pro-Palestinian demonstration, coming a day after Hamas launched a brutal surprise attack on Israeli civilians, was condemned by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who called it “abhorrent and morally repugnant.”
But the pro-Palestinian rally organizers said the attack on Israel was justified:
“It’s 75 years of an Israeli regime founded on violence,” the organizer told the crowd.
While standing with Palestine, one man told PIX11 News that he disagreed with killing innocent people.
“Any resistance is legitimate when you target military targets,” the man, who chose not to give his name, told PIX11 News. “I don’t think civilians should feel threatened, be it on the Palestinian side or Israeli side.”
Counterprotesters, standing across the street, chanted, waved the Israeli flag and sang their national anthem. For them, this was a terrorist attack.
“They massacred us yesterday, kids in their bed, women, old women, 600 people dead. What are you protesting for, you barbarians,” Tonya Altman, an Israeli supporter, said.