Spontaneous Pro-Israel Rally Dwarfs Pro-Hamas Protest in New York’s Diamond District (VIDEO)
A robust pro-Israel rally spontaneously erupted in New York City’s heavily Jewish Diamond District on July 25 after anti-Israel protesters marched through the streets chanting support for terrorism.
The incident took place as Israeli troops were operating in the Gaza Strip to combat rocket attacks and the threat of terror tunnels against the Jewish state.
The marchers chanted, “Free, free Palestine! Free, free Gaza!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” They also shouted, “Intifada, intifada!” a blatant call for violence against Israelis.
From his store window, Igal Nisanov, who works in the area, saw the anti-Israel zealots making their way up Fifth avenue at 47th street at around 1 p.m. He told The Algemeiner they numbered around 40, 50 people.
Nisanov then joined a crowd of Israel supporters who spontaneously emerged from their businesses to oppose the anti-Israel chants.
“I could see the view from my store. So I came out and started protesting. Then the crowd was getting bigger and bigger like the Jews were coming out,” he told The Algemeiner. “Everyone was coming out. A lot of them, most of them left their shops. They closed their stores. And more and more as we were getting toward 6th Avenue there were hundreds of us. And we just outnumbered them.”
The pro-Israel crowd clapped loudly and chanted “Is-ra-el, Is-ra-el!”, “Ha-mas ter-ror-ists!” and “I-D-F!” in support of the Israeli Defense Forces’ action in Gaza.
“I heard noise from my office so ran down to see what was going on,” said Penina Rapaport, who also works in the District and joined the rally in support of Israel. “I heard the chanting and I’m on the 11th floor so that’s a lot of noise. I heard noise and of course wanted to be there and make sure we were heard.”
A video of the incident was posted to YouTube on Sunday by journalist Danielle Avel. In the clip, Rapaport is seen alongside the group singing “Am Yisrael Chai,” a traditional Jewish song meaning “long live the nation of Israel.”
“I have five other Jewish co-workers that came with me. My manager was at first concerned she didn’t want me going but I told her we have to,” Rapaport said. “The Diamond District is all Jews. They knew what they were getting into.”
Nisanov said the confrontation between the opposing sides didn’t get violent, “but it was about to.” Police officers positioned themselves between the anti-Israel protesters and the Jewish crowd, preventing any physical contact.
Ten to fifteen minutes after the anti-Israel protesters entered the Diamond District the Jewish group forced them to leave, Nisanov asserted.
“We just came with Israeli flags, hundreds of us, and they weren’t even screaming anymore. At first they were very loud…they were yelling but then after that they just didn’t say anything. They just walked away,” he said.
“Store owners were upset. The fact that they (the anti-Israel protesters) came into the Diamond District where all the Jews are, they made a mistake by coming here…[but] everything went back to normal after that.”
Watch a video of the incident below:
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