As the conflict intensifies between Israel and Hamas, several US-based pro-Palestinian, student, and Muslim activist groups expressed support for Hamas’s actions and condemned Israel. The Gaza-led assault on Israel resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Israelis, triggering retaliatory actions by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The US Council of Muslim Organizations blamed Israel and the US for the ongoing conflict and condemned Israel’s “indiscriminate killing of civilians.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also voiced its support for the “Palestinian people’s right to freedom,” pinning the blame on Israeli and US policies.
Numerous pro-Palestinian and student groups lauded the attacks and announced planned demonstrations. Among them, the Students for Justice in Palestine characterized the conflict as a liberation movement, emphasizing resistance. Other groups in New York like Within Our Lifetime and Samidoun expressed similar sentiments and planned to hold rallies in Times Square and near the Israeli consulate.
These rallies and groups’ stances drew criticism from various quarters. New York Governor Kathy Hochul labeled the planned rally as “abhorrent and morally repugnant.” Simultaneously, white supremacist and antisemitic groups were seen applauding the actions of the Palestinians.
Many rallies in support of Hamas were also announced in numerous US, Canadian, and European cities. Demonstrators in Toronto were seen celebrating the attacks with pro-Palestinian chants.
The Democratic Socialists of America’s New York City chapter endorsed the Times Square rally, expressing their solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Meanwhile, the Jewish Voice for Peace attributed the source of the conflict to “Israeli apartheid and occupation” and the US’s complicity in the same.
Various Jewish groups announced pro-Israel rallies and efforts to assist Israel and Israelis in the US. In light of the situation, New York State and City police increased their protective measures around Jewish communities and places of worship.
Key landmarks in New York were illuminated in blue and white, symbolizing solidarity with Israel. Several leaders, including Mayor Eric Adams, Governor Hochul, and members of Congress, condemned the attacks and pledged their unwavering support for Israel and the Jewish community.
The Secure Community Network, responsible for the security of Jewish communities in North America, advised Jewish facilities to maintain vigilance, ensure security protocols, and coordinate with law enforcement agencies. Similar security measures were observed in Germany and France around Jewish sites. In London, the Metropolitan Police reported incidents linked to the Israel conflict and subsequently heightened city-wide patrols.