Protesters denounce Israeli ministers outside NYC JPost conference; some say they had their tickets canceled

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Protesters demonstrate against Israeli government ministers outside the Jerusalem Post conference in New York on June 5, 2023 (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Protesters demonstrate against Israeli government ministers outside the Jerusalem Post conference in New York on June 5, 2023 (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

NEW YORK — Several dozen protesters denounce coalition lawmakers outside a Jerusalem Post conference in New York City attended by government ministers.

The demonstrators hold flags and signs with the crossed-out faces of Israeli ministers.

“US Jews want a democratic Israel,” the signs say.

Other placards read “No democracy with occupation,” and “Without the Supreme Court there is no equality.”

Participants chant “shame” and “democracy” in Hebrew and English.

Shany Granot, one of the leaders of anti-overhaul protests in New York, tells The Times of Israel that she and others had tickets they purchased for the JPost conference canceled. She shows an email she received yesterday saying that her ticket has been canceled, and her money will be refunded, “in accordance with the terms of the conference as they appear on the ticket.” The Jerusalem Post was contacted for a response.

Granot tells Channel 12 that some others were barred from entering the conference today even though their tickets were not canceled. “They were told at the entrance that their names ‘are on a list that we received from Israel’,” Granot says.

The crowd outside the event is led by progressive US Jewish groups and includes some Israeli activists. Most rallies throughout the week against coalition lawmakers have been led by the Israelis.

In line with the US groups’ agenda, there is more of a focus on Palestinian rights than at the Israeli-led protests. They sing songs led by a guitar player and tell conference participants they’re “on the wrong side of history.”

The head of the rabbinic rights group T’ruah, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, tells the crowd that at the conference “there will be speeches by a number of ministers who support the destruction of Israeli democracy.”

“We’re here today, American Jews and Israelis, protesting for democracy because we care about the future of Israel, we care about everyone in that piece of land, both Jews and Palestinian,” Jacobs says.

Other speakers include leaders of New York Jewish groups.

They lash MK Simcha Rothman for seizing a protester’s megaphone on Friday, and Minister Amchai Chikli for mocking US Jews at the Celebrate Israel Parade yesterday. The activists say Chikli was giving them the finger; he says he was telling them to smile.

A separate protest is taking place outside the offices of the Conference of Presidents, also in Manhattan, where coalition lawmakers made an appearance.

Most Popular