Category Archives: JCRC

Pro-Israel Rally (Updated x 2)

As the war between Israel and Hamas continues, New York Jewish organizations organized a large rally in support of Israel.  Held today in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, just across from the United Nations, the rally featured many elected officials.  Among those participating were Senator Chuck Schumer, Representatives Eliot Engel, Steve Israel, Nydia Velazquez, Grace Meng and Hakeem Jeffries, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Dan Garodnick.  Other elected officials attending, but not participating in the program, were Assembly Members Phil Goldfeder, David Weprin, Richard Gottfried, Nily Rozic, Ed Braunstein and Chuck Lavine, and Council Member Mark Weprin.

The rally varied significantly from the July 14th press conference organized by some of the same groups.  Today’s event was a rally, with a large crowd (claimed by organizers to be 15,000), while the July 14th event was a press conference without a substantial crowd of supporters.  The July 14th press conference was held on the steps of City Hall and counter-demonstrators, while kept outside of City Hall’s gates, shouted at and over the press conference.  Today’s rally was so large, and in a differently configured location, that any protests/counter-demonstrators were inaudible at the rally.

Hakeem Jeffries:

We’ll start our coverage with the barn burner of a speech from Brooklyn Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.

Update – Protest:

Here’s our look at the reception given to a group of anti-Israel counter-demonstrators.

Update #2 – New York Elected Officials:

Here’s a highlight reel with excerpts from the speeches of New York elected officials:

NY Electeds In Support of Israel

Numerous New York elected officials joined a press conference/rally today at City Hall to express support for Israel as it retaliates against Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza.  Organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council, the press conference/rally featured five members of the House of Representatives, at least ten state legislators including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and at least six members of the City Council.  It also featured some uninvited guests; counter-demonstrators who showered the press conference with chants and shouts.

Mayoral Candidates on Iran Diplomatic Initiative

Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio support President Obama’s current diplomatic initiative toward Iran.  We asked both candidates that question yesterday, and both gave indirect answers that appear to condition support on continued sanctions and other forms of pressure on the Iranian government, but were nonetheless supportive of the initiative.  We spoke with Lhota at a press conference condemning the Iranian government, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, and with de Blasio at a campaign event in Queens.  Here’s what they had to say.