Shocking Antisemitism in Brooklyn
As Israel celebrated its 71st anniversary last month, a group called Within Our Lifetime-United for Palestine, an offshoot of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), organized a rally in Brooklyn that featured virulent antisemitic tropes by a city official, offered repeated calls for Israel’s elimination, and calls for “resistance” — tantamount to terrorism — against the state of Israel.
Protesters gathered near 72nd street and 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for “Nakba 71: The Great Return March Continues.” “Nakba” means “catastrophe,” which is how Palestinian advocates tar Israel’s creation.
In an exclusive video report linked below, the Investigative Project on Terrorism shows how the language used by antisemites has become normalized and tolerated.
“New York City, you will see, Palestine will be free,” they chanted. “New York City, you will learn, refugees will return.”
Gilding the lily at this affair were demonstrably antisemitic and anti-Christian comments made by Brooklyn Assemblyman Ralph Perfetto, who attacked Christians who support Israel: “And as far as the evangelicals, who are sending more money over than AIPAC. Forget about it! You’re waiting for rapture and for Jesus Christ to come back, well this Christian doesn’t want him to come back. So, stop sending your money there.” The crowd cheered.
Perfetto then topped himself by admitting that antisemitism in America is driven by opposition to a Jewish state in Israel, a link that anti-Zionists often deny: “It’s my opinion, but I believe the rise in antisemitism in this country is because of what is happening there, not because of the Jewish people in this country, but because of what is happening over there. And, unfortunately, the Jewish people in this country are suffering for it.”
To be clear, Perfetto admits that people upset with Israel, a foreign country, are taking out their frustrations on American Jews. He doesn’t urge antisemites to stop this behavior.
Israel’s independence took place legally through a United Nations vote, and was solidified with a victorious war that it didn’t start. Those who deny this history and perpetuate the notion that Jews do not have a right to their homeland are antisemites.
Protesters called for a “Great Return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel. What they either do not know or chose to forget is that Palestinians produced that unfortunate outcome, with the encouragement of Arab League countries. They created a united front that refused to accept two separate United Nations resolutions calling for two equal states, and instead launched a war to drive the Jews from the land. They just didn’t plan on losing.
UN Resolution 181 — the Partition Plan for Palestine — authorized a Jewish state and an Arab state. Jews were assigned areas of land that included Tel Aviv and the Negev, among other places. Arabs living in Palestine at that time were given their own state, which included Jaffa and the regions now known as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. While Jews danced in the streets at the UN vote, Arabs rejected the notion of living side by side with a Jewish state and launched a holy war. The war expanded to include fighters from Arab League countries Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq.
The United Nations attempted to assuage the Arabs’ deadly tantrums in December 1948 with Resolution 194, which said that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”
The resolution was adopted by 35 member countries of the UN, but by none of the Arab League countries — Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen — all of which were parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The conflict continued until the Arabs’ official defeat in March 1949.
The Brooklyn protesters chose to forget or not learn the rest of the story, and showed that rejectionism remains alive and well among many Palestinians and their supporters. “We don’t want no two states,” they repeatedly chanted. “We want ’48!”
Denying Jews their right to their homeland meets the definition of antisemitism. Indeed, speakers at the rally didn’t rein in their antisemitism. Rafael Miranda, of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, justified all violence and terrorism executed by Palestinians: “I want to say that our fight for freedom is not terrorism. No matter how we fight it is never terrorism. It is not terrorism to fight by whatever means necessary. And so I want to stand today to say that resistance is justified when people are occupied.”
The antisemitic rally masquerading as a victims’ support group let down its façade with the previously mentioned chant — “we don’t want no two states, we want ’48” — as well as this chilling call in Arabic for terrorism against Jews: “The door of the Aqsa mosque is made of iron and nobody can open this door but our martyrs.”
A video of this incident can be found here, at the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
Steven Emerson is considered one of the leading authorities on Islamic extremist networks, financing, and operations. He serves as the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, a non-profit organization that serves as one of the world’s largest storehouses of archival data and intelligence on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups.