Israel Day Parade Marred By Protestor With “Kill Hostages Now” Message

( — Security was high last Sunday as New York City’s annual Israel Day Parade kicked off on Fifth Avenue, with some pro-Hamas protesters showing up to harass the estimated 60,000 participants.

Among those attending this year’s event were seventy relatives of the hostages kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel.

The parade was led by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York Mayor Eric Adams, and other officials.

Hochul vowed to address the rise in antisemitism in the state, promising to enact tougher hate crime laws and provide more security grants for religious institutions. The governor also promised to ensure that the Holocaust was taught in New York schools.

While the parade was mostly peaceful, some anti-Hamas protesters, including a masked man holding a sign that read, “Kill hostages now,” did turn up at the event to harass attendees and spectators.

This year’s theme was “Bring Them Home.” The typically boisterous event was somewhat muted this year, given the more somber theme. Marchers, wearing T-shirts and holding signs with the names and faces of the hostages remaining in Gaza, chanted “Bring them home” as they headed up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The parade route was lined with both spectators and NYPD, with barricades set up along the sidewalk to contain the crowds.

NYPD officials deployed resources used at high-profile events in the city, like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July, including surveillance drones, bike patrols, K-9 units, barriers and fencing, and specific entry points for spectators wishing to watch the parade that included metal detectors. The NYPD also prevented people from carrying large bags, backpacks, or coolers along the parade route.

According to the NYPD, no arrests were made during the event.

Rena Orman from the group Mothers Against College Antisemitism told the Associated Press that unity was “especially important” for this year’s parade in light of the October 7 attacks. She said everyone in attendance wanted the hostages released and for the war in Gaza to end.

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