Hundreds Gather in Show of Support for Israel at Pro-Netanyahu Rally at Manhattan Hotel; Counter Protesters Continued to Malign Bibi - The Jewish Voice
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Hundreds Gather in Show of Support for Israel at Pro-Netanyahu Rally at Manhattan Hotel; Counter Protesters Continued to Malign Bibi

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Hundreds Gather in Show of Support for Israel at Pro-Netanyahu Rally at Manhattan Hotel; Counter Protesters Continued to Malign Bibi  

Edited by: Fern Sidman

A rally of support for embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took place early on Thursday evening in Manhattan as hundreds of diehard supporters turned out to express their appreciation to Netanyahu for his superlative leadership and his litany of remarkable accomplishments while holding office in Israel .

The spirited rally sought to counter incessant left-wing protests against Netanyahu and his government’s efforts to implement a judicial overhaul of Israel’s highly politicized supreme court.

Zenger News reported that the gathering, which was organized by the Stand With Israel movement took place from 6 to 8 p.m. outside the Loews Regency Hotel at Park Ave., near East 61st Street, where Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are staying during the United Nations General Assembly’s annual general debate.

 Hillary Barr, who spearheaded the initiative on behalf of Mothers Against Terrorism, told Zenger News she hopes not just Netanyahu but “all of New York City” will hear their “loud and proud” show of support.

“We’ve done a lot of rallies for Israel; during the [Second] Intifada; when they [Hamas terrorists] kidnapped the three boys in 2014; as well as protests outside the PLO mission,” said Barr, as was reported by Zenger News. “This week, somebody reached out to us and asked: ‘These haters will harass Netanyahu all week long. Can’t you do something about it?”

The anti-judicial reform protesters, many of whom flew in from Israel, fail to understand the damage they’re inflicting, charged Barr, the Zenger News report said.

“When you’re in Israel and you want to protest, be my guest. But now you’re in New York. There’s the Squad and we have an administration that isn’t favorable to us,” said Barr, while referring to a group of progressive Democratic Congress members known for their anti-Israel stance.

“This morning, I spoke to an Israeli woman named Anat. I told her: I feel for you, whatever your stance is on judicial reform. But you’re not understanding the nuances, and giving the Squad ammunition to say: ‘Why should the U.S. give aid to Israel?’” said Barr.

Also on hand to stage to express their disdain for the State of Israel and for Prime Minister Netanyahu was the vehemently anti-Zionist organization known as Neturei Karta which is compromised of Chassidic Jews. Chanting their usual mantra about their belief that Zionism stands in direct contradiction to Judaism, they wasted no time in excoriating Israel and its leadership.

 On Wednesday, the Yeshiva World News described the Neturei Karta as “a group of terrorist-supporting, anti-Israel, hate-filled figures,” as they met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a/k/a the “Butcher of Tehran,” at the UN.

According to the YWN report, Neturei Karta “has long kissed up to despicable figures like Raisi, and are used as pawns by terrorists across the globe to justify their lust for Jewish blood.”

“I have heard that there are anti-Zionist Jews here, and this is a great thing,” Raisi told the Neturei Karta members as he highlighted his support for Jews who wish harm on other Jews, as was reported by YWN.

One pro-Israel rally attendee quipped, “It seems that no pro-Israel event in New York City is complete without the revolting opposition of the odious Neturei Karta group, who are in reality, a bunch of twisted fanatics. These guys have always been and continue to be a ubiquitous sight at any event or gathering related to the support of Israel and the modern Zionist movement.”

Thursday’s pro-Netanyahu rally included lively musical accompaniment, prayers for the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces, as well as speeches which expressed genuine gratitude for the Jewish state. Well-known attorney, former Harvard Law School professor and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz addressed the assemblage along with others.

Professor Dershowitz told the crowd that while he’s “not a supporter of most of the programs of this government on judicial review,” the suggestion that the judicial overhaul will “end democracy” is “total nonsense” and “a blood libel.”

Tila Falic Levi read a statement by Netanyahu that he sent to the exuberant gathering. He said: “I am deeply moved by your friendship and support. Thank you for coming tonight to stand up for Israel and for truth.”

Earlier on Thursday, Netanyahu met with former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is 100 years of age. Kissinger played a pivotal role in Middle East affairs during his tenure in the Nixon administration.

Sponsoring organizations of the rally included the Republican Jewish Coalition, The Phyllis Chesler Organization, Americans Against Anti-Semitism, Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), Americans for a Safe Israel,  AMCHA-The Coalition for Jewish Concerns, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, Americans Friends of Likud, the World Values Network, the Israel Independence Fund, the Zionist Organization of America, CASEPAC, the Jewish Leadershp Project, Fuel for Truth. Students Supporting Israel, Herut NA, Young Jewish Conservatives, Yad Yamin NY, Cluz Z, the NY Young Republicans Club, the Israel Forever Foundation, Americans Friends of Judea and Samaria and the 12 Tribe Film Foundation.  The initiative also enjoyed support from former New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a noted lecturer and author.

The counter-demonstration was held while anti-government protesters followed Netanyahu during his first stop in Fremont, California, where he met with X owner and Tesla chairman Elon Musk and now in New York City. On Wednesday, Netanyahu met with President Joe Biden on the side lines of the UN General Assembly and the two discussed the negotiations with Saudi Arabia to establish a partnership with Israel.  Netanyahu also met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the two discussed continued Israeli assistance in providing humanitarian relief to the war torn country.

Unable to attend the rally in person but offering words of support was celebrated author, lecturer and front line Israel advocate,  Dr. Phyllis Chesler, who was also one the sponsors of the rally.

She addressed what occurred on Tuesday at the United Nations when Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan staged a protest during the speech of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in front of the UN General Assembly.

Shortly after Raisi began his speech, Erdan got up from his seat in the chamber and raised a sign that read “Iranian women deserve freedom now” and included a picture of Mahsa Amini, who died in Iranian police custody after her arrest for an alleged breach of the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women, as was reported by The Times of Israel.

Holding the photo above his head, Erdan walked toward the lectern from which Raisi was speaking before making his way out of the chamber. Before he reached the exit, UN security ran him down and escorted him out of the auditorium. The TOI reported that he was detained for several minutes by the UN security team outside the chamber before being released.

“It should not be possible for a vile murderer who calls for the destruction of Israel to be given a platform here at the UN. The UN has, once again, reached a new moral low,” Erdan said in a statement.

In her prepared remarks for the rally, Dr. Chesler said in a statement: “For an Israeli Ambassador, with full diplomatic immunity, to be “brutally detained,” by the UN police/goon squad, merely because he held up a photo of Iranian martyr, Mahsah Amini, while the “butcher of Teheran,” Ebrahim Raisi, addressed the General Assembly—is beyond the pale. Erdan held up a photo which called for freedom for Iranian women now! He deserves a parade and a medal. Instead, as Erdan was walking out, he was taken hostage.”

She added that, “This action, this photo-op, has crossed a dangerous line. Israelis, even those with diplomatic immunity and their own bodyguards, can be taken hostage with the official approval of the entire world; at best, the usual bystanders remain indifferent.”

“It’s yet another reminder that it’s Open Season on the Jews,” Chesler cautioned.

“Ambassador Erdan/Israel is standing with the oppressed people of Iran. Apparently, he does so alone—at least at the United Nations, and in the American White House. As a truth teller, Erdan/Israel has been publicly punished, put on notice, warned. Compare this to the one hundred UN diplomats who worked out while Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov was speaking—and they did so on behalf of Ukraine. Is Iran less important than Russia?

We know that the UN has never stopped a single genocide. Its’ only accomplishment has been the systematic legalization of Jew hatred via more than one hundred resolutions condemning Israel for alleged crimes that it has not committed—in fact, crimes of real gender and religious apartheid are committed by Arab, Muslim leaders; human rights atrocities are committed in totalitarian countries and in failed state everywhere—not in Israel—and yet Israel alone has been scapegoated. I wish I could be with you in person but know that I am with you in spirit and always will be,” Chesler stated.


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