Mayor Adams joins parents of Oct. 7 victims of Hamas massacre to condemn ‘despicable’ protest

NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams joined relatives of victims of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack Tuesday to decry what he described as a “despicable” pro-Palestine protest held a day earlier in Manhattan, where a flag with the group’s emblem was displayed as well as a sign lauding the massacre.

Monday’s protest started in Union Square, where footage posted to social media showed a small group of demonstrators holding up a flag saying, “Long live October 7th.”

Protesters then flooded into the subway and rode down to Wall Street, where they staged a larger action outside the Nova Exhibition, a memorial created to honor the victims of Hamas’ attack, in which terrorists killed some 1,200 Israelis and took hundreds hostage.

At the Wall Street protest, footage showed a protester waving a flag with Hamas’ logo on it and another with the emblem of Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S., while someone else was seen holding a sign saying Zionists are “not human.”

“What we saw yesterday was despicable,” Adams said in a Tuesday afternoon appearance at the Nova exhibit. “Hamas is a terrorist organization. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization … Is this what New York represents? I say no.”

With the mayor at the exhibit to condemn the protest were Menashe and Segal Manzuri, the parents of Roya Manzuri, 22, and Norelle Manzuri, 25, who were among the Israelis killed in the Oct. 7 massacre.

Menashe Manzuri, who was at the exhibit when the protest erupted outside Monday, told reporters he entered a state of shock upon seeing the commotion outside.

“I cannot find the right word how I felt when somebody shouting and supporting the people who murdered your daughters,” said Menashe Manzuri, who was clasping a photograph of his daughters. “I cannot describe what I felt. It was like they killed me again and again and again.”

According to the NYPD, one protester was arrested during the demonstration on Wall Street and charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Many other protesters at Monday’s action were flying Palestinian flags and chanting “free, free Palestine!” and other slogans that have become more common at demonstrations across the city since Israel launched its attack on Gaza in the aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault. Nearly 40,000 Palestinians, including thousands of children, have been killed in the Israeli onslaught.

Progressive Democrats in the city, many of whom have otherwise been supportive of pro-Palestinian protests and calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, agreed with the more-moderate mayor that Monday’s event devolved into antisemitism.

“The callousness, dehumanization, and targeting of Jews on display at last night’s protest outside … was atrocious antisemitism – plain and simple,” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on X. “Antisemitism has no place in our city nor any broader movement that centers human dignity and liberation.”

Since Oct. 7, hate crimes against both Jews and Muslims have been on the rise in the city.

As of April 14, police statistics show there had been 96 reported antisemitic hate crimes this year, a 45% increase compared with the same time frame in 2023. Also as of April 14, there had been nine reported Islamophobic hate crimes, compared with just one in the same span in 2023, according to NYPD data.

Before leaving the Nova exhibit Tuesday, the mayor said he supports New Yorkers’ right to protest against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

“I get angry when I look at some of the things that are said and portrayed, it really angers me to see that we will wave the flag of Hamas in this city, but the laws are the laws and we can’t break the law to enforce the law,” he said.

“I’m asking all those who feel the anger that I feel to turn your pain into purpose.”