Pro-Palestinian Map With NYC Targets Stirs Concern

A group advocating for Palestinian causes, Within Our Lifetime, sparked controversy after posting a map on social media identifying significant landmarks in New York City. This map, which included locations like the New York Post newsroom, Grand Central Station, and the Museum of Modern Art, was part of a call for “direct action” to “globalize intifada.” The term “intifada” in Arabic refers to an uprising or rebellion, as reported by the New York Post.

The contentious social media post, which has since been removed, also pinpointed other notable sites such as the News Corp building, NBC News, The New York Times, Chelsea High Line, and the offices of Meta, Instagram’s parent company.

With 121,000 followers on Instagram, Within Our Lifetime, a Palestinian-led group, did not clarify why these specific sites were chosen or the nature of the actions they were advocating. The map has drawn criticism from various New York officials who interpret the call for “intifada” as an implicit endorsement of violence.

Ritchie Torres, a Democratic Representative from the Bronx, interpreted the group’s message as veiled incitements to violence against Jewish people. This concern about the spread of such messages on social media platforms is shared by others.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine denounced the post as both “dangerous” and “reprehensible,” viewing it as an explicit incitement against predominantly Jewish institutions.

Councilman Keith Powers, representing Midtown Manhattan where several of the identified locations are situated, criticized the map as an irresponsible provocation towards senseless violence.

Reverend Joseph Potasnik from the NY Board of Rabbis also condemned the map, asserting that it glorifies physical assaults on Jewish individuals, remarking that “Intifadas are targeted attacks on Jews.”

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has acknowledged the situation, and City Hall officials have stated that measures are being taken to ensure public safety at the highlighted sites, as reported by the New York Post.

In response to the backlash, Within Our Lifetime organized a “peaceful rally” in Washington Square Park, calling for an end to what they term as genocide and highlighting the involvement of universities in these issues.

The group also announced an “emergency protest” outside the CUNY School of Law in Queens, in response to a last-minute cancellation of an event titled “Fighting Against Complicity in Genocide.”

This incident occurs against a backdrop of increasing pro-Hamas and anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses across the United States. Recent polls show that a significant portion of college students express support for Hamas in the ongoing conflict, a figure that is nearly equal to those who side with Israel.

The rise in anti-Jewish incidents in New York City, which saw a 214% increase last month, coincides with Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip following a terrorist attack on October 7 by Hamas, which resulted in substantial Israeli casualties, predominantly civilians.

Hamas authorities have reported high casualty figures in the contested region, though these numbers do not differentiate between civilians and militants.