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Friday, May 17, 2024

Pro-Palestinian protester hospitalized after alleged intentional vehicle attack in NYC

According to reports from CUAD the driver engaged in an altercation with protesters before circling the block and driving into the crowd,

In a tense episode amidst ongoing demonstrations regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a pro-Palestinian protester was hospitalized following an alleged intentional vehicular attack in New York City. The incident unfolded during a demonstration outside the residence of a Columbia University trustee, sparking outrage and calls for justice from advocacy groups.

Incident Details

On Tuesday morning, amidst protests urging Columbia University to divest from companies with ties to Israel, a confrontation ensued between demonstrators and a driver on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. According to reports from Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), the driver, purportedly described as an “Upper East Side Zionist,” engaged in an altercation with protesters before circling the block and driving into the crowd, striking one individual. The victim, identified as a pro-Palestinian protester, was subsequently hospitalized with minor injuries.

Read More: Columbia suspends pro-Palestinian protesters after encampment talks stall

Response and Arrests

Following the incident, three individuals, including the driver and two demonstrators, were taken into custody by the New York Police Department. While details regarding charges remain pending, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has refrained from commenting until after the arraignment.

Context and Consequences

The alleged attack comes amid a backdrop of escalating tensions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with demonstrations intensifying across the United States. CUAD highlighted the incident as reflective of broader trends where discomfort over political slogans is weaponized to justify violence against protesters advocating for Palestinian rights. Instances of violence and intimidation against pro-Palestinian activists, both in New York City and beyond, highlight the volatile nature of the discourse surrounding the conflict.

Political Discourse and Conflation

The incident coincides with contentious rhetoric from some U.S. politicians, including recent condemnations of campus protests by President Joe Biden. Critics argue that such statements risk conflating demonstrations in support of Palestinian rights with antisemitism, potentially fueling further polarization and hostility.

Read More: Pro-Palestinian protesters arrested at Yale University (VIDEOS)

In response to the incident, community members and advocacy groups have called for accountability and justice. Voices within the pro-Palestinian movement emphasize the importance of protecting the rights of all demonstrators and condemning acts of violence. Additionally, there are renewed calls for constructive engagement and dialogue to address the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without resorting to violence or intimidation tactics.