Low Turnout at Teaneck Anti-Israel Protest

By Matis Glenn

Hundreds of anti-Israel demonstrators – far less than the expected 10,000 – protested outside of a Teaneck shul Sunday morning, which was hosting a real estate expo on buying land in Israel.

The protest was the result of a large-scale social media campaign launched last week by groups including Pal-Awda and the Palestinian Assembly. Though protest literature, and the banners used in Sunday’s protest, stressed that their opposition was to the sale of what they called “stolen” land in Yehudah and Shomron, both organizing parties deny Israel’s right to exist at all. Pal-Awda has supported the Oct 7 massacre and the Hamas terror group, while advocating to free “Palestine” “from the river to the sea.” The Palestinian Assembly has, on their website, called for an exclusively Palestinian state in place of Israel.

The expo, held at Keter Torah, located on Roemer Avenue, was promoted as the “Great Real Estate Event;” it is one of a series of five such events held throughout March in conjunction with several organizations, including the Emanuel Group, and the Israeli American Council, to promote buying real estate in Israel.

Bergen County Chaverim told Hamodia that New Jersey Police and other law enforcement agencies were on high alert Sunday to protect members of the Jewish community as the protestors planned to descend on the town.

Earlier Sunday, protestors with large Palestinian flags attempted unsuccessfully to close Route 4 after the George Washington Bridge ramp, which would have severely affected traffic in the entire area. Later on, a caravan traveled along west Englewood to River Avenue, one of the main roads in Teaneck, and proceeded to Queen Anne Road, where they approached the area of the Teaneck Jewish Center, on Sterling Place.

Protestors wore keffiyehs, scarves associated with Palestinian violence, chanted “long live the Intifada,” and other slogans while marching. “Intifada” in the context of Israeli-Palestinian history is associated with acts of deadly terrorism. Palestinian organizations and historians refer to the waves of terrorism, in which civilians were targeted, in 1987 until 1993, and again in 2000, as the First and Second Intifada respectively. The term was also used by Hamas and other Palestinian groups to describe their actions during a series of over 500 stabbings of Israelis between the years of 2015 and 2016, which they called the “intifada of the knives.”

A counter demonstration by pro-Israel demonstrators was held outside the Keter Torah shul.

By around 6 p.m., almost all of the anti-Israel protestors had left. However several people waving Palestinian flags were seen on camera coming out of vehicles and vandalizing pro-Israel signs posted on private property of Teaneck residents. Police and Chaverim investigated the incidents, and are searching for the culprits.

Last Tuesday, another event in the real estate expo series was held in Montreal, at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. Attendees alleged that protestors harassed, shoved and spat on them, and in response, a judge placed a temporary ban on anti-Israel protests within around 150 feet of the synagogue, and close-by Jewish institutions in Snowdon. Attendees also allege that they were stuck inside the shul for several hours due to the protestors.

According to northjersey.com, two Muslim organizations claimed that the events were for Jewish people only, and thus discriminatory. They called on the NJ Attorney General to investigate, but the expo’s organizers say that the accusation is baseless, and that nowhere in the promotional material is there a rule stipulating that only Jewish people are permitted to attend.

The next expo will be in Lawrence on March 12th, followed by a final presentation in Flatbush on the 13th.

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