Anti-Israel Protesters Burn American Flag, Vandalize WWI Memorial
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 6: A pro-Palestine protestor writes Gaza on a memoriam near Central Park during a march on the outskirts of the Met Gala on May 6, 2024 in New York City. A demonstration at Hunter College drew around 200 protesters, who joined other area-college marches to the Met Gala being held this evening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Alex Kent/Getty Images

A group of anti-Israel protesters defaced a World War I Memorial and lit an American flag on fire in Central Park on Monday after police prevented around 1,000 of the demonstrators from reaching the Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Post reported.

Video of the incident showed anti-Israel protesters vandalizing the memorial with graffiti that read “Gaza” and “Palestine will be free” as an American flag burned at its base. Some demonstrators plastered the American soldiers featured on the memorial with stickers that read “Stop the Genocide. End the apartheid. Free Palestine,” according to the Post.

Another demonstrator climbed on top of the memorial, holding a Palestinian flag. No police were seen in the video as the protesters desecrated the American military monument. A monument of Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was also vandalized in Central Park Monday evening.

The anti-Israel protests in New York City were part of an organized “Day of Rage” demonstration that took place near the Met Gala, where celebrities gathered for the annual Costume Institute Benefit. The anti-Israel organizers’ “Day of Rage” also fell on “Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

At one point, dozens of anti-Israel protesters stormed through an NYPD barricade that was set up to help keep demonstrators away from the Met Gala. NYPD officers arrested around two dozen protesters, Fox News reported.

NYPD officials have expressed alarm over the anti-American literature found in protest encampments throughout the city, some of which called for violence and “Death to America.” Authorities posted pictures of leaflets found at New York University last week, including a poster with the messages: “Occupy the Occupiers,” “Disrupt/Reclaim/ Destroy,” “Long Live the Intifada,” “Death to Israeli Real Estate,” and “Death to America.” Another poster was titled: “Enough with De-Escalation Trainings; Where are the Escalation Trainings!”


“There is some organization behind this movement,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry. “The level of organization that we’re seeing in both of these encampments here and at Columbia — leaflets on how to protest, leaflets on how to commit civil disobedience, leaflets on what to do when you get arrested, leaflets on what to say to police when they ask you — there is somebody funding this. There is somebody radicalizing our students.”

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