Pro-Palestinian Map With NYC Targets Stirs Concern

A group advocating for Palestinian rights, known as Within Our Lifetime, recently sparked a debate by posting a map on social media. This map pinpointed several notable locations in New York City, including the New York Post’s office building, Grand Central Terminal, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Reported by the New York Post, this group urged for “direct action” in order to “globalize intifada,” a term which in Arabic means a rebellion or uprising.

This controversial post, which has since been removed, also identified other significant sites like the News Corp building, NBC News, The New York Times, Chelsea High Line, and the offices of Meta, which is the parent company of Instagram where this provocative message was shared.

Identifying itself as a community organization led by Palestinians and boasting about 121,000 followers on Instagram, Within Our Lifetime did not clarify why these specific sites were chosen or what kind of action they were promoting. However, the map has received widespread criticism from New York’s political leaders who interpret the call for “intifada” as an indirect endorsement of violence.

Ritchie Torres, a Democrat Representative from the Bronx, interpreted the group’s message as a veiled incitement of violence against the Jewish community. He was not alone in this interpretation, as such concerns about the spread of similar messages on social media platforms are growing.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine condemned the post as “dangerous and reprehensible,” criticizing it for inciting violence against primarily Jewish organizations.

Councilman Keith Powers, who represents Midtown Manhattan, where many of the listed sites are located, called the map a blatant provocation for unnecessary violence.

Joseph Potasnik, a Rabbi with the New York Board of Rabbis, interpreted the message as an endorsement of physical assaults on Jewish people, commenting, “Intifadas mean targeted attacks on Jews.”

The New York Police Department (NYPD) acknowledged they were aware of the map and a City Hall spokesperson indicated that measures were being taken to secure the safety of the public at these mentioned sites, as reported by the New York Post.

In response to the controversy, Within Our Lifetime organized a “peaceful rally” in Washington Square Park, calling for an end to what they describe as genocide and criticizing universities for their alleged complicity.

Additionally, the group arranged an “emergency protest” outside the CUNY School of Law in Long Island City, Queens. This was in response to a last-minute cancellation of an event titled “Fighting Against Complicity in Genocide.”

The rise of pro-Hamas and anti-Israel sentiments on college campuses across the United States is notable, with recent surveys showing that roughly one in five college students support Hamas in the ongoing conflict, a figure comparable to those in favor of Israel.

This increase in anti-Jewish incidents in New York City, which saw a 214% rise last month, coincided with Israel’s response to Hamas’ terrorist attack on October 7, which resulted in approximately 1,200 Israeli casualties, mainly civilians.

Hamas officials have reported over 11,000 deaths in the region, without differentiating between civilians and combatants.