Anti-Israel protesters crash Hispanic-Jewish event

Pro-Palestinian activists crash conference of New York leaders, interrupting Shabbat event celebrating ‘Jewish and Hispanic unity.’

By Susan Tawil, World Israel News

The Somos political conference, held in San Juan this past weekend (November 8-12), was devoted to addressing the needs of New York’s Puerto Rican community.

Latinos now comprise 30% of the Big Apple’s population, and the Somos conference, hosted by the NY State Legislature’s Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, is one of the largest political gatherings in the US focusing on this group (Somos is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the empowerment of the NY Hispanic population).

Over 2,000 NY politicians were in attendance.

On Friday night of the conference, a popular Shabbat event was held, open to all conference participants.

The dinner was billed as a “celebration of Jewish and Hispanic unity,” and was hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center of Puerto Rico, UJA Federation New York, and former NYC Council Member David Greenfield, now the CEO of the Met Council.

The place was packed with politicians enjoying the evening together, when the Shabbat dinner was interrupted by pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrating outside the hotel.

Their hands painted red with fake blood, they screeched their typical anti-Israel rally cries at the gathering.

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A handful crashed the event, yelling and disrupting the crowded dinner until they were escorted out by security.
Former Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal, now Vice President for Government Affairs at the UJA, condemned the protest.

He said that the Shabbat celebration was not about Israel, but about unity between NY’s Jewish and Hispanic communities.

“Let’s call them what they are: antisemites,” he told the guests. “We’re celebrating our Shabbat proudly, and that is offensive to them.”

On Saturday, Somos Conference attendees learned that the NYPD bomb squad was called to investigate a grenade found at the Holocaust Memorial Park in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. The grenade turned out to be inert.

Shortly thereafter, a bomb threat was called into 911, telling police that two bags planted at the historic Central Synagogue in Midtown Manhattan were going to explode.

Thankfully, the threat was fake, and Shabbat services carried on as usual.

Since the October 7 incursion of thousands of Hamas into Israel, and the surprise attack on innocent Israelis in which over 1,200 were massacred, thousands wounded, and 240 taken hostage, there has been a huge spike in anti-Semitic incidents world-wide.

In NYC alone, there was a 214% jump in antisemitic hate crimes compared to the same period the previous year.