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Watch: Spontaneous Pro-Israel Rally Drowns out Extremists in NY

What happened when several dozen anti-Israel extremists marched through central Manhattan's Diamond District?
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 8/4/2014, 1:46 PM

Pro-Israel rally in New York
Pro-Israel rally in New York
Reuters

A radical anti-Israel march through New York's "Diamond District" in central Manhattan - an area known for its large concentration of Jewish businesses - ended in abject failure late last month, after anti-Zionist demonstrators were drowned out by locals who responded with overwhelming support for Israel.

A few dozen anti-Israel protesters, including the usual suspects from the hard-left, Islamists and a handful of anti-Zionist Jews from the extremist Neturei Karta sect, led chants calling for a violent "intifada" against Israel, and the end of the Jewish state.

But they soon found themselves massively outnumbered as passersby and local business-owners staged a spontaneous counter-demonstration of their own, chanting "Israel" and "IDF" in support for the Jewish state's efforts to defend its citizens from rocket attacks and deadly terrorist infiltrations from Gaza.

Looking bewildered, the anti-Israel demonstrators found their way blocked, and eventually their rally simply fizzled out, as the constantly-growing crowd of Israel supporters sang "Am Yisrael Chai" (the nation of Israel lives) and other Hebrew songs.

An unprecedented condemnation of anti-Semitism by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday highlighted once more how anti-Israel protests are often used as a platform for unabashed Jew-hatred - something pro-Israel groups have always insisted to be the case.

Europe in particular has been rocked by anti-Semitic demonstrations and violence, with France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the UK and Holland among just some of the countries where a spike in anti-Semitic crimes has hit headlines since the start of Israel's counterterrorism operation in Gaza.

The US, as well, has seen several anti-Semitic incidents linked to the current conflict, and pro-Israel activists have increasingly faced anti-Semitic harassment (even, in some cases, when they are not themselves Jewish).

But New York, it appears, is no Paris.