UPDATED 3:34 PM PT – Saturday, May 22, 2021
New York Democrat leaders are facing criticism from members of their own party for staying silent as Middle East tensions spill over into the “Big Apple”. There have been reports of fighting as demonstrations linked to the conflict in Israel continue in New York City.
Police repeatedly had to break apart fighting after pro-Israel activists were attacked by pro-Palestinian protesters. Furthermore, videos have emerged depicting the violence, including a scuffle after someone who was holding an Israeli flag had it pulled from his hands before being punched upon trying to retrieve it back.
The continued violence has subjected more than two dozen additional individuals to custody after officers were forced to step into a larger fight that broke out. Police have also reportedly said a group of pro-Palestinian agitators threw fireworks into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring at least one bystander and two officers.
A 29-year-old Jewish man has also spoke out after he was beaten by a group of people in the city earlier in the week. Police say Joseph Borgen was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries following the attack. He said he couldn’t understand why there was so much hate directed at him.
Police said one 23-year-old suspect was taken into custody and faces a litany of charges that include assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon. Officers are still searching for six more people connected to the attack.
The kind of anti-Semitic attacks, like those reported over the last week, are disturbing and wrong. Intolerance like this has no place in New York or anywhere else, and it must be confronted and overcome.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 21, 2021
Critics are calling on New York leadership to address the violence, saying some of the biggest names in the state have been largely absent amongst the chaos. Although, in an appearance on Friday in Times Square, Senate Majority Leader and New York lawmaker Chuck Schumer (D) did make a comment saying he’s glad there’s a ceasefire in the Middle East.
Saturday will mark the first full day of ceasefire after Hamas militants fired more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel with Israel conducting air strikes in response. Reports say Egyptian mediators have continued to hold discussions between the two sides in the hopes of maintaining the peace.