Pro-Israeli activists were heckled and one was accosted by pro-Palestinian activists during an event held at a New York synagogue on Thursday.
The even was held by Miluimnikim Bahazit (Reservists at the front), an Israeli NGO that sends Israeli reserve soldiers and other activists to speak on behalf of Israel around the world, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Friday. The TV report did not name the synagogue.
According to the report on Channel 2, several pro-Palestinian activists succeeded in hiding their purpose when they entered the premises, before disrupting the event soon after it began.
The Israelis came to the US to emphasize the contribution of non-Jewish Israelis — like Druze and Bedouins — to the IDF.
A clip from Channel 2 shows a pro-Palestinian activist asking an (unseen) Israeli speaker: “What makes you kill a little kid?”
“They started by asking questions. But when they didn’t like our answers, they started rioting, shouting, swearing in every conceivable language inside the synagogue,” Amit Deri, director general of the NGO, said.
One of the hecklers, Deri said, lunged at Bassem Eid, one of the founders of the human rights NGO B’Tselem and a Palestinian human rights activist who frequently speaks out about abuses carried out by the Palestinian Authority. “We literally pulled [the protester] off him,” Deri said.
After a few minutes, police arrived at the scene and removed the hecklers from the synagogue.
One of them told the New York cops, “Here this is not Israel. You cannot just arrest people.”
“What is astounding about this incident,” Deri said, is that “eventually, indeed, police did a good job and pushed them out, but no one was arrested. And these guys are already free, after they ruined our event.”