Anti-Israel Activists Urge Violence Against Jews in Times Square Rally: ‘Muhammed’s Army Will Return’
A large protest held in New York City’s Times Square on Friday against US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital featured chants calling for violence and the destruction of the Jewish state.
In video footage captured by the advocacy group Reservists on Duty (RoD), protesters clad in keffiyehs and waving Palestinian flags can be seen shouting in Arabic, “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammed is returning.” The slogan refers to a 7th century battle fought by the Islamic prophet Muhammad against Jewish tribes, and is often invoked by Islamist terrorist groups including Hamas and Hezbollah.
Participants at the rally — organized by a coalition of local pro-Palestinian groups active in the boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) campaign against Israel — repeatedly described an “intifada” as the “only one solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Intifada,” an Arabic term for a popular uprising, refers to two violent Palestinian campaigns carried out against Israel in recent decades, which included multiple suicide bombings, shootings, stabbings, and other terrorist attacks.
“With spirit and blood we’ll redeem al-Aqsa,” protesters chanted in reference to the mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. “We don’t want no two state, we want ’48.”
“The media isn’t covering everything because the media is under you know, you know who is controlling the media,” another protester claimed, “and Palestinians have the right to raise their voice.”
Various figureheads from the local pro-Palestinian community addressed the crowd, according to video footage, among them the president of the New Jersey chapter of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Sayel Kayed. AMP is a sponsor of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the leading anti-Zionist group on American university campuses.
“Death to the peace accords,” Kayed proclaimed. “Today we officially announce that Palestine is from the river to the sea,” he added, echoing the chants of protesters calling for a single Palestinian state to replace Israel. “We have to become active, we have to become politically involved, we have to influence Congress.”
Shortly afterwards, Taryn Fivek of the Marxist–Leninist communist party Workers World saluted members of the Palestinian “resistance,” a common euphemism for terrorism, for fighting “with whatever they can.”
“They fight with rocks, they fight with rockets from Gaza, they fight with guns, their children fight, every single Palestinian is in it to win it,” she said to wide applause.
Nerdeen Kiswani of the New York City branch of SJP later told the crowd that they “should be just as angry” that the United States has “an embassy in Tel Aviv or Jaffa as we are al-Quds, because every inch of Palestine is Palestinian land.” Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
“Their time is limited, and their time is up,” Kiswani said of Israel. “It’s up to all of us here, including everyone in the crowd, to keep this momentum going if we want to see Israel fall within our lifetime. And inshallah, it will fall within our lifetime.”
Amit Deri, head of RoD, told The Algemeiner that “these protests taking place all over the world and in Times Square prove that the BDS movement and its radical supporters are in fact against Jews — not just against Israel — and also against the United States and the values it represents.”
“The Jews of the United States are the first ones who need to understand that these extremists will target any Jew because they are a Jew — that’s why they said, ‘Khaybar, Khaybar, ya yahud,’” he argued. “These aren’t people we can talk to and negotiate with — they want us out of the state of Israel. Like they said, it’s about 1948 — not 1967.”
An RoD activist who filmed the rally and requested to remain anonymous said that a few protesters were detained by police officers. “It got really heated,” the activist said. “Protesters started yelling about killing the Jews and saying intifada is the only solution. That was the undertone for the entire march, but then it really came out.”
The activist noted that some 50 people attended a pro-Zionist counter demonstration, “but once the Palestinians crossed over and rallied around them,” some officers interjected and encouraged counter protesters to leave.
Dennis Mitchell, who attended the pro-Israel counter protest, told NBC New York that he believes “in a shared state,” while “they want the whole thing for themselves.”
“They just want to get rid of Israel,” he said. “That doesn’t work.”
A compilation of videos taken at the protest is embedded below.