NOT A SHRED OF DECENCY
Anti-Israel activists rip down hostage posters in petty acts of hate
By CARL CAMPANILE, NOLAN HICKS, DANIEL MCKNIGHT and DAVID PROPPER
Israel haters have taken to ripping down posters on city storefronts and lightpoles that highlight the plight of the 200 Jews taken hostage by Hamas. These girls chanted “f--k Israel!” as they did so.
A Brooklyn man wearing a Palestinian scarf was arrested this week after getting into a caught-on-video scuffle on the Upper East Side while trying to callously rip down Israeli hostage posters — the latest incident in a disturbing spate that has been blasted as antisemitism and inhumanity at its “deepest level.”
The man tried to reach over to grab a flyer Tuesday evening, only to be rejected by a group guarding the pole at East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue.
“Get the f--k out of here,” one fed-up man shouted at Mohamed Khalil. “You’re a scumbag!”
The tense exchange ended in Khalil’s arrest and proved to be another reminder that the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas has led to a war of words on local streets prompted by actions that Jewish leaders said are clear antisemitism.
Gut-wrenching images of the more than 200 hostages — many of whom are children — began emerging days after Hamas’ surprise attacks Oct. 7 and the appalling act of ripping them down was seen in Gotham soon after.
Even when there aren’t witnesses to the hateful acts, it’s easy to spot the remnants of flyers that have been partially ripped off of various poles and fences and those that have been vandalized.
“This is antisemitism at its deepest level. It’s an expression of inhumanity at its deepest level,” Rabbi Joseph Potasnik told The Post. “I don’t understand the depth of hatred.”
“Antisemitism has never left,” the executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis added. “It was below the surface, but now it’s in the mainstream.”
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) said the “loathsome” people tearing posters “obviously hate Jews who, I’m sure, would like to see people like me dead.”
‘Psychology’ of hate
“Who would have imagined this is the place we would be at the moment?” said the pol, who reps a heavy Jewish population in Riverdale.
“The psychology is they hate Jews.”
Mayor Adams called the postertearing “deeply misguided.”
“As I’ve repeatedly over the last three weeks, the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel were abhorrent and every hostage should be immediately released to their family,” Adams said in a statement.
“As we see the fallout from this violence spill over into New York City, we must reiterate that hate has absolutely no place here.
“Tearing down a poster of a hostage is a deeply misguided act
of disrespect to victims of terrorism,” Hizzoner added. “I stand firmly with all the innocent civilians caught in the middle of a war they did not ask for and the New Yorkers managing the fallout.”
Some of the city dwellers ripping down or altering the posters have been identified as proPalestinian protesters speaking out against Israel’s retaliatory strikes. Many appear to be college-age students at local universities, which have been a hotbed for anti-Israel demonstrations.
Ryna Workman, the New York University law student who lost a job offer after sending an incendiary pro-Hamas message last month, was caught on camera covering up posters of hostages.
Another two young women were recently recorded ripping down flyers off a vacant storefront on the Upper West
Side, according to video shared on X.
Foul 4-letter response
When the woman recording the incident asked them to stop, stressing that the people pictured are “innocent civilians,” one of them replied, “F--k you, f--k Israel.”
One of the artists behind creating the posters, Nitzan Mintz, told The Post that it seems like there are endless fights over the flyers that aim only to bring awareness to the Israelis being missed by loved ones.
Mintz said she believes some people against the signs believe the posters are “propaganda” while others question if the faces of Israelis are even missing. She’s heard one charge that she and the few others originally involved are working with the CIA.
“I cannot justify why people are being so evil and they tear down baby’s faces out of posters,” she said. “If they really care about the Palestinians and about what’s going on between our countries, we, and our campaign, is not the target,” she added. “This is not political. Tearing down a baby’s poster is not going to do any good for the Palestinians.”
Other New Yorkers who have targeted the posters over the last month include a Broadway theater producer, a Brooklyn man and his wife who tore down posters at Brooklyn Bridge Park as they were berated by a Jewish woman and two teenage girls taking down flyers along Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side.
One Big Apple construction worker gained fame when he confronted a stranger tearing down posters last week in Forest Hills and threatened to “litter
the f--king floor” with the individual.
“This is a free country. You can wave your Palestine flag and say death to the Jews and America or whenever you want, but we can put up f--king signs,” the worker identified as Paulie told the man in a thick New York accent.
On Wednesday, a Post photographer recorded a man hiding behind a mask who was attempting to take a poster down in Columbus Circle opposite a pro-Israel rally. An older man got between him and the pole to stop him.
When the photog asked for his name, the man replied, “F--k off.”
“Everybody needs to close their eyes and imagine it could be their own family member” held hostage, said Devorah Halberstam, the chair of the NYPD’s Civilian Hate Crimes Review Panel.
New York Post