New York relishes own role in the global drama

By Gil Shefler, October 4, 2012
An anti-Iran demonstrator

An anti-Iran demonstrator

The voice of Rabbi David L Algaze amplified by a loudspeaker echoed through the steep canyon walls of Midtown Manhattan for several blocks on Thursday last week.

The rabbi, who heads congregation Havurat Yisrael, a synagogue in Queens, was one of roughly 100 people who converged outside the Israeli consulate on the corner of 42nd Street and 2rd Avenue to show support for the Jewish state at the General Assembly meeting taking place at the United Nations headquarters a few hundred metres away.

“This rally gives support to Netanyahu and Israel in its decisive hour when the existence of Israel is at stake,” he said. “Israel must defend itself and cannot wait for another country to take action.”

Participants waved miniature Israeli and American flags, held up banners calling the Islamic Republic the “biggest threat to Israel, America and the free world” and handed out leaflets to passers-by.

Ron Prosor, Israel’s UN envoy, said he was pleased with Britain’s support for Israel vis-a-vis Iran at the General Assembly.

“I didn’t follow the British delegation as closely as I used to in the past,” he said, standing outside a Starbucks just around the corner from the heavily guarded UN compound, “but I saw Alistair Burt and there’s no doubt of David Cameron’s support. They are one of three countries doing the most.”

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss led two dozen members of the anti-Zionist Neturai Karta group carrying placards against Israel. Asked if he regretted meeting with Ahmadinejad in Tehran a few years earlier, Rabbi Weiss responded: “Why should I?

Last updated: 7:11pm, October 4 2012