NEW YORK (JTA) — One person was burned when two fireworks were thrown from a car amid an altercation with anti-Zionist protesters in a heavily Jewish New York City business district, according to police.
The fight came on Thursday evening, on what appeared to be the final day of the conflict between Hamas and Israel, before a ceasefire that took effect overnight. Additional videos circulating on social media appeared to show other physical altercations between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in New York City Thursday.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, there has been an increase in antisemitism in the United States both online and on the ground during the conflict, which has seen large pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the country. As of Thursday, the ADL tallied 193 incidents of antisemitic incidents in the week since the conflict began, compared to 131 the previous week.
The ADL said there were many reports of “frightening attacks against Jews” in the city on Thursday evening and they were in contact with police and the FBI.
Frightening attacks on Jews in Times Square of #NYC this evening. Many arrests made. Working with @NYPDHateCrimes and @NewYorkFBI, as well as elected officials and the local Jewish community. Violence is absolutely unacceptable. https://t.co/HbKGaETVBU
— ADL New York / New Jersey (@ADL_NYNJ) May 21, 2021
The fight in New York City occurred around the same time as a pro-Israel demonstration on Thursday in New York City that also attracted pro-Palestinian counter-protesters. It took place in the Diamond District, a midtown Manhattan street with many Jewish-owned businesses.
In two videos posted to Twitter on Thursday, a group of men wearing the colors of the Palestinian flag can be seen yelling “f–king Zionist” and similar expletives while holding a Palestinian flag. At the beginning of one of the videos, someone appears to be lying on the ground.
Earlier this afternoon on 47th St (the Diamond District), Palestinians attacking Jews pic.twitter.com/aJaJztdGyx
— Daniel Rubin (@DanielYRubin) May 20, 2021
Later in that video, one of the pro-Palestinian protesters shoves a man. A crowd of pro-Palestinian protesters wearing scarves on their heads then walks down the middle of the street, guided by police.
In another brief video from 47th St., a bang can be heard along with a flash of light and smoke as people scramble. The chronology of the two videos is unclear.
Altercations with the pro-Palestinian protesters were seen in several locations around the city, including a mob attacking diners at a restaurant.
These are not Palestinian terror supporters. These are actual terrorists on the streets of New York City. Attacking diners for one reason. They’re Jewish. pic.twitter.com/mVrhIh8mCc
— Avi Kaner (@AviKaner) May 21, 2021
The NYPD told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that two commercial fireworks were thrown from a car, and one person sustained a minor burn. The police force’s Arson Investigation Squad and a detective squad are investigating the incident.
The Israeli Consulate in New York on Friday said the wave of protests was more violent than previously seen in the area, even when tensions were high.
“The demonstrations are larger, more toxic, and unfortunately also more violent. There is a direct connection between Hamas’ stated agenda which is sworn to Israel’s destruction and the slogans of the demonstrators that undermine the legitimacy of Israel as the Jewish nation-state,” the consulate said in a statement.
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report