(New York Jewish Week) – Police detained 34 anti-Israel protesters during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan on Thursday.
The activists disrupted the procession in Midtown and were forcibly removed by police.
Video showed the demonstrators lying in the street, dousing themselves with fake blood, and chanting “Liberation, for Palestine and planet.” They wore white jumpsuits emblazoned with words including “consumerism,” “colonialism,” “ethnic cleansing” and “capitalism.”
In footage from the event, bystanders are heard booing the activists as the protest holds up the iconic parade.
Police said 34 individuals had been taken into custody. Four were arrested for charges including trespassing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Thirty individuals received criminal court summonses for trespassing.
Radical pro-Palestinian groups also held protests in Manhattan around the time of the parade. The groups advertised the demonstrations as “Flood ‘Thankstaking’ for Gaza and indigenous resistance,” echoing Hamas’ name for its Oct. 7 terror rampage through southern Israel, which it called “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.”
The demonstrations were led by Within Our Lifetime and Decolonize This Place, two hardline pro-Palestinian groups that endorsed the Hamas attack after it killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians.
Footage shared by the activists showed protesters marching through Manhattan waving Palestinian flags and holding signs that said “Zionism is terrorism,” “By any means necessary,” and “Resistance until return,” then gathering at the New York Public Library’s main branch on Fifth Avenue in Midtown. Video showed the facade of the library defaced with red handprints and Palestinian flags.
The group said it was disrupting Thanksgiving to protest the “settler colonies the United States and Israel,” and had targeted the Stephen Schwarzman building of the library because the “zionist billionaire” for which it is named has business ties in Israel, and because, last month, following the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, the Blackstone Group, of which Schwarzman is the CEO, pledged $7 million in humanitarian aid for Israel.
The organizers earlier this week encouraged their followers to show up along the parade route with Palestinian flags and signs.
The groups have held near-daily protests in New York City in recent weeks that call for the elimination of the Jewish state and the targeting of “Zionists” in the U.S. There are additional protests scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Within Our Lifetime set off an uproar last week by posting maps online showing the location of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations in New York and encouraging its followers to target the institutions.
The demonstrations are taking place as Israel navigates a delicate process to release some of the hostages held by terrorists in Gaza. The attackers took over 200 Israelis and foreign nationals hostage on Oct. 7, including many children.
On Friday, 13 Israelis and 11 other nationals were released from captivity in exchange for a pause in fighting and Israel’s release of thirty-nine Palestinians, many of whom were imprisoned on terror charges.