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Live Blog: Protests Outside the United Nations

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pro-Israeli protesters outside the United Nations in Manhattan. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Get the latest from our reporters outside the United Nations headquarters where protesters are expected to demonstrate while all 193 U.N. members hold multilateral discussions of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the UN Charter.

UPDATE | 1:52 p.m.

Most protesters have left. Organizers are collecting signatures for UN petition and email addresses from those who are still here.
Roy Lopez, 35, said he heard today what he mostly expected. Said he remains "pessimistic" about the possibility to achieve peace.
"This is a difficult issue, and it's an issue that's gonna remain difficult."

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

UPDATE | 1:18 p.m.

Robert Stearns, lead organizer of the protest, says everyone serves today as "watchmen on the wall of Israel."

Stearns points out various ways, such as with women's and religious rights, that Israel is "the only democracy in the Middle East" to enthusiastic applause from the crowd.

He leads the crowd in singing of the Israeli national anthem.

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

UPDATE | 1:14 p.m.

There are no elected U.S. officials at the demonstration, which is unusual.

There are signs in the crowd that make note of the victory in New York's 9th Congressional District. Representative Bob Turner's win over Assemblyman David Weprin was painted by republicans as a referendum on President Obama's policies toward Israeli.

— WNYC reporter Bob Hennelly

UPDATE | 1:05 p.m.

Protesters outside the U.N. waving Israeli flags.


— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

UPDATE | 1:03 p.m.

Protest organizers take the stage with pastors and civic leaders. Bishop Carlton T. Brown, from Harlem spoke on behalf of 15 uptown churches.

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

UPDATE | 1:02 p.m.

The crowd fills half the distance between First and Second Avenues. There is a sea of blue and white Israeli Flags.

Throughout the rally, speakers denounce the Durban III Conference which focuses on racism, noting that many nations including the U.S., Israel, Canada and the Netherlands are boycotting because past Durban Conferences became coopted by anti-Israel and anti-Semetic views.

— WNYC reporter Bob Hennelly

UPDATE | 1:00 p.m.

Leaders of the rally gather on stage, including Roz Roz Rothstein, national director of StandWithUs.

"Today we are all Israelis," Rothstein said. "In that building over there, they are fools. They have turned right and wrong upside down. They have turned evil and good upside down."

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

UPDATE | 12:45 p.m.

Simon Deng, who said he is a a refugee from Sudan and a survivor of child slavery, draws applause when he says that an undivided Jerusalem will be Israel's capital.

"Do not compromise in the name of peace," he said. "Do not even talk about peace when the other does not want it."

The crowd chants, "Not on our watch!"

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

 

UPDATE | 12:33 p.m.

 Another speaker, Simon Deng, who said he is a a refugee from Sudan and a survivor of child slavery, calls himself a "friend of the state of Israel."

"The U.N. is turning a blind eye to racism in the Islamic world," he said.

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac


UPDATE | 12:21 p.m.

Deputy Speaker of Knesset, Danny Danon, speaks at the rally.

"Inside the UN today you can see hatred against the Jewish people," Danon said. "President Obama, you have to wake up and you have to show leadership and you have to deal with the threat that is coming from Iran."

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

 

UPDATE | 12:19 p.m.

Patricia Bossert traveled from Stevensville, Ontario for the rally. She says came to stand with Israel and protest the decision by the Palestinian Authority to seek statehood by directly applying to the U.N. Security Council.

"I never been to New York before but I made the trip to protest the Palestinian unilateral bid for statehood, which by passed the peace process," Bossert said. "I am here to help defend Israel."

— WNYC reporter Bob Hennelly

 

UPDATE | 12:10 p.m.

Some in the crowd of protesters are chatting "Zionism is a heresy."

— WNYC reporter Stephen Nessen


UPDATE | 12:09 p.m.

Karen Cohen, chairwoman of Endowment for Middle East Truth, a pro-Israeli think-thank based in Washington, D.C., said: "We're here to let the people of the world know we're all solidified here. According to international law, the entire land of Israel belongs to Jewish people."

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac


UPDATE | 12:07 p.m.

Thousands of supporters of Israel are streaming into Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at this hour for a noon program. Along the police barricades high school kids from throughout the region are holding the blue and white Israeli flags while several shofars are blown.

Sponsors say a coalition of close to 50 Christian and Jewish organizations along with the Israeli government have organized today's rally under the banner of the "Eagles Wings Coalition Council."

— WNYC reporter Bob Hennelly 


UPDATE | 11:55 a.m.

Pro Israeli protestors entering the park near the United Nations are first met by Hasidic Jews, mostly from Williamsburg, protesting against the state of Israel. One pro israeli gave them the middle finger and yelled, "F--- you, you're a disgrace."

— WNYC reporter Stephen Nessen


UPDATE | 11:40 a.m.

Evelyn Fabrikant protests outside the United Nations on Wednesday.

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac


UPDATE | 11:27 a.m.

Evelyn Fabrikant, from Morgenville, N.J., said she wanted to send the message that was written on her placard: "No 'PA' statehood until all Arab countries recognize Israel."

"The U.S. and those democratic states around the world recognize the fact that Israel should be supported as a Jewish state," she said.

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

UPDATE | 11:11 a.m.

An anti--Israeli protester entered the protest area along 47th Street carrying the sign, "Google: Israel will nuke Europe." Police escorted him out. Protestors shouted "Get out of here, you scumbag!" and "You're a terrorist."

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac


UPDATE | 11:01 a.m.

Protesters began to gather outside the United Nations on Wednesday.

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac


UPDATE | 10:54 a.m.

The crowd is slowly but surely growing larger. People are waving Israeli flags and placards reading "Israel We Stand With You" and "Stop the U.N. Double Standards."

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

UPDATE | 10:44 a.m.

A small number of protesters are gathered in front of the UN. They're holding placards with signs "Move UNazis to Gaza," "From Hitler to Hamas, the Holocaust continues" and "Didn't we learn anything from 1938?"

— WNYC reporter Mirela Iverac

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