Under the slogan "New York next to Israel", thousands of people gathered this Tuesday near the UN headquarters in protest of the incursion of the Islamist group Hamas that has already left more than a thousand dead.
Since the surprise attack on Israel on October 7, New York - home to nearly two million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Muslims - has been the scene of tense demonstrations, both in support of the Palestinian cause and that of the Jews.
Thanks to the police “we come together to protect you all. We will continue to protect you,” Kathy Hochul, governor of New York state, with a population of 20 million, nine million of whom are in New York City, told the crowd.
The megalopolis is also the city with the largest number of Jews in the world outside of Israel.
American Jewish organizations were responsible for calling the rally a few meters from the UN, and invited New York leaders and representatives of the far-right government of Jerusalem to speak.
Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan was applauded when he proclaimed that the "Jewish people" of Israel and the United States were "not divided."
Hamas members "wanted to massacre us when they thought we were most vulnerable, but they were wrong," the diplomat said.
Hamas launched a surprise offensive against Israeli soil on Saturday, causing more than a thousand deaths and dozens kidnapped. On the Palestinian side, more than 765 people were killed by Israeli bombings in Gaza in response to the Islamist group's offensive, according to local authorities.
The mayor of New York, African-American former police officer Eric Adams, who recently visited Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, also said at the rally that "Israel has the right to defend itself."
"Your fight is our fight," the mayor told the protesters, who were waving Israeli flags.
In 2020, according to the Pew Research Center, there were 5.8 million Jewish adults in the United States, religious or not, in addition to 2.8 million who claim to have a Jewish parent.
There are also about 4.5 million Muslims in the country, including between 600,000 and 750,000 in New York.