(New York Jewish Week) — A local Jewish security group is advising Jews to avoid the area near the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday afternoon, where a hardline pro-Palestinian group will hold a rally advertised as “Flood Brooklyn for Gaza.”
Crown Heights Shmira, a local patrol group that works closely with the NYPD, shared a social media post “advising the community to stay away from the area of the Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway this Shabbos, October 28th, at 3:00PM where a pro-Palestinian protest is scheduled to take place.”
Crown Heights is the home base of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, whose Eastern Parkway headquarters are a little over a mile away from the museum.
The rally, held by the activist group Within Our Lifetime, comes after protests featuring rhetoric celebrating Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel have unnerved some Jewish New Yorkers. On the day of the attack, in which terrorists killed and wounded thousands, and took hundreds captive, Within Our Lifetime posted on Instagram, “Supporting Palestinian liberation is supporting whatever means necessary it takes to get there.”
Another of the groups backing Saturday’s rally, Decolonize This Place, has in recent days shared videos of the Hamas invasion under the caption, “Palestinian anti-colonial struggle: 101.” Saturday’s rally’s name recalls the name of the Hamas operation, “Al-Aqsa Flood.” It comes three weeks into Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza, in which Israeli airstrikes have killed thousands, and as Israel’s military has expanded ground operations in the coastal territory.
The protest will begin Saturday afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum. Pro-Palestinian rallies typically feature speeches followed by a march down city streets accompanied by police. The NYPD said Friday that the route for most rallies is not determined until the day of the event.
Demonstrations in recent weeks in New York have not seen significant physical violence or injuries, unlike those held during and after Israel’s 2021 conflict with Gaza terror groups including Hamas. Mitch Silber, director of the Community Security Initiative, a local Jewish security group, told the New York Jewish Week earlier this week that police had exercised stringent enforcement this year during and after protests.
Antisemitic incidents have spiked in New York City and the United States in recent weeks, according to data collated by the New York Police Department and Jewish security groups.
Within Our Lifetime holds protests that are attended by thousands, calls for the eradication of Israel and also calls on followers to “Globalize the intifada.” Palestinian terror attacks during the second intifada, two decades ago, killed approximately 1,000 Israelis. Activists who have protested with the group have been convicted of hate crimes against Jews.
Within Our Lifetime has previously expressed support for U.S.-designated terrorist organizations, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The group led a large protest in Lower Manhattan on Thursday and has held a series of other events since Oct. 7. Its “rally toolkit” includes the chants “Resistance is justified” and “Smash the settler Zionist state.”