New York's Jewish community in disarray over Gaza conflict-Report

New York's Jewish community in disarray over Gaza conflict-Report

Shafaq News / The Jewish community in New York, comprising the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, finds itself deeply divided over the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. While some express unwavering support for Tel Aviv's actions, others vehemently condemn the situation in Gaza as tantamount to "genocide."

According to reports from Agence France-Presse (AFP), New York, a city of approximately nine million residents, including one million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Muslims, has become a battleground of conflicting opinions.

Below is the text of the report:

Jewish New Yorkers grieving after Hamas' attack on Israeli civilians are split over the country's response, with some voices urging Israel to defend itself and others increasingly warning of Palestinian "genocide."

New York's Jewish population is the largest outside Israel -- 1.6 million people whose diverse political views regarding the US ally and the Palestinian cause have come to the fore since Hamas' bloody assault and taking of hostages, and the deadly Israeli bombing campaign that followed.

As Palestinians in northern Gaza attempt to flee an expected Israeli ground invasion, aid agencies are warning of a growing humanitarian crisis in the blockaded enclave that Israel has cut off from electricity, water and fuel supplies.

Friday evening hundreds of New Yorkers gathered in Brooklyn in solidarity against Israel's offensive -- which has killed more than 2,200 Palestinians -- wielding a banner emblazoned with the message "Jews Say Stop Genocide Against Palestinians."

Protestors called on the United States Congress to demand a ceasefire and cut off the billions in funding for Israel.

The rally was sponsored by the left-wing organization Jewish Voice for Peace, and saw demonstrators march to the home of top US Senator Chuck Schumer.

Schumer, who is Jewish, was preparing to lead a delegation of senators to Israel as a show of support.

"There is only one way to end violence and that is to address the root causes of everything happening: 75 years of Israeli military occupation and apartheid, and end US complicity in this systemic oppression," said Jay Saper of JVP.

Philip Wolf, 25, told AFP that he didn't grow up religious, but "having had family wiped out in the Holocaust, I know the critical importance of the continued flourishing Jewish state."

"After the events of the last week, that connection feels even stronger."

Prominent Jewish organizations including the American Jewish Committee and United Jewish Appeal backed pro-Israel demonstrations this week that drew crowds in the thousands, as well as staunch support from most local authorities, including New York state's Governor Kathy Hochul and the city's mayor, Eric Adams.

Two days after the Hamas attack, Arthur Schneier, the longtime senior rabbi at Manhattan's Park East Synagogue, called the assault "the most existential threat to Israel since its founding in 1948," a message that echoed Israeli authorities.

"As the American Jewish community," he said, "we have a special responsibility."

New York Rabbi Melissa Buyer-Witman said, "I am confident the Americans will again unite and support Israel whether they are Jewish or not," speaking to AFP during a prayer service for the dead.

"Continue to keep Israel in your faith, in your thoughts," she said at the event held at Temple Emanu-El, the first reform Jewish congregation in New York.

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