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Apparent Gaza activists hurl paint at homes of Brooklyn Museum leaders, including Jewish director

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Apparent Gaza activists hurl paint at homes of Brooklyn Museum leaders, including Jewish director
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Apparent Gaza activists hurl paint at homes of Brooklyn Museum leaders, including Jewish director

2024-06-14 03:17 Last Updated At:03:21

NEW YORK (AP) — People purporting to be pro-Palestinian activists hurled red paint at the homes of top leaders at the Brooklyn Museum, including its Jewish director, and also splashed paint across the front of diplomatic buildings for Germany and the Palestinian Authority, prompting a police investigation and condemnation from city authorities.

Mayor Eric Adams, in a post on the social platform X, shared images of a brick building splashed with red paint with a banner hung in front of the door that called the museum’s director, Anne Pasternak, a “white-supremacist Zionist.”

“This is not peaceful protest or free speech. This is a crime, and it’s overt, unacceptable antisemitism,” Adams wrote of the paint attacks early Wednesday. Adams sent sympathy to Pasternak and other museum board members whose homes were defaced.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat who lives close to the Brooklyn Museum, praised it on the Senate floor as an institution whose leaders are “deeply concerned with issues of social justice,” and said the pictures of the director's home filled him with grief and anger.

“Every single American needs to see this. This is the face of hatred. Jewish Americans made to feel unsafe in their own home – just because they are Jewish.”

Four museum officials were targeted. Not all are Jewish, Brooklyn Museum spokesperson Taylor Maatman said. A report was filed with police.

Red paint was also splashed early Wednesday across the front of a Manhattan building that houses Germany’s consulate and its United Nations mission, and another building that is a headquarters for Palestinian diplomats. Flyers critical of the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, were scattered outside the building.

It wasn’t immediately clear who was responsible or whether the acts of vandalism were all related.

The paint attacks came the same week that pro-Palestinian groups held a large demonstration outside a New York City exhibition memorializing victims of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on the Tribe of Nova music festival. The group Within Our Lifetime called the tribute to the victims “Zionist propaganda” and dismissed the music festival, where hundreds died, as “a rave next to a concentration camp.”

That protest also drew condemnations from across the political spectrum.

“The callousness, dehumanization, and targeting of Jews on display at last night’s protest outside the Nova Festival exhibit was atrocious antisemitism — plain and simple,” U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday on X.

One group of protesters riding a subway train to the demonstration outside the Nova exhibit chanted “Raise your hands if you’re a Zionist,” at their fellow passengers, followed by "This is your chance to get out.”

Leaders of Jewish organizations said a widely shared video of the subway episode was horrifying.

“Essentially it’s a call for separating Jews from everybody else on the subway and somehow kicking them off,” said Scott Richman, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League for New York and New Jersey.

“Every Jew is looking at that and saying ‘What if I were on the subway?’ or ‘What if I were standing at the Nova exhibit and hearing that awful rhetoric and seeing Hamas flags being waved?’” Richman said.

Richman said hateful words can lead to antisemitic violence like the 2018 massacre at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue.

“You just need one unhinged person to hear all of this hateful rhetoric and decide that they’re going to take action,” he said.

Logan Levkoff-Cortes, who heads a Jewish National Fund program to send non-Jewish college students to Israel, said the use of “Zionist” as a derogatory term was “a blatant display of antisemitism.”

“There is no distinction between asking Zionists to get off the train car and asking for Jews to get off,” she said. “It has become this legitimized buzzword for people to talk about Jews without using the word Jews,” she said.

Videos posted on social media also showed demonstrators spraying the side of a subway train at the Union Square station with graffiti.

A spokesperson for the New York Police Department said it was investigating the vandalism aimed at the Brooklyn Museum leaders and the diplomatic buildings. The German mission said its security staff was in close contact with New York authorities. A message seeking comment was also sent to Palestinian diplomats.

Hundreds of protesters marched on the Brooklyn Museum late last month, briefly setting up tents in the lobby and unfurling a “Free Palestine” banner from the roof before police moved in to make dozens of arrests. Similar protests have happened since October at other New York City museums.

Within Our Lifetime and other organizers of that demonstration said in a statement that it did not coordinate the paint attacks, but “we commend” any such actions. The group has said the museum is “deeply invested in and complicit" in Israel’s military actions in Gaza through its leadership, trustees, corporate sponsors and donors — a claim museum officials have denied.

“Earlier today, the homes of people connected to the Brooklyn Museum were vandalized in an attempt to threaten and intimidate them,” the museum spokesperson, Maatman, said in a statement. “For two centuries, the Brooklyn Museum has worked to foster mutual understanding through art and culture, and we have always supported peaceful protest and open, respectful dialogue. Violence, vandalism, and intimidation have no place in that discourse.”

City Comptroller Brad Lander, who was among the New York politicians to speak out against the protests, said the Brooklyn Museum has done more to grapple with questions of “power, colonialism, racism & the role of art” than many other museums.

“The cowards who did this are way over the line into antisemitism, harming the cause they claim to care about, and making everyone less safe,” he wrote on X.

The grand beaux arts museum, the city’s second largest, sits at the edge of Crown Heights, home to one of the city’s largest communities of Orthodox Jews.

It is no stranger to ideological confrontations.

Then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani threatened to close the museum in 1999 over artwork he considered disrespectful of Catholics. Protesters have staged demonstrations inside, outside, and on top of the building repeatedly over the years. And in 2016, pro-Palestinian activists demonstrated against a photo exhibit on life in Israel and the West Bank, saying it did not take a strong enough stance against Israeli “colonization.”

Associated Press reporters Jennifer Peltz and Karen Matthews. Follow Philip Marcelo at x.com/philmarcelo.

Apparent Gaza activists hurl paint at homes of Brooklyn Museum leaders, including Jewish director

Apparent Gaza activists hurl paint at homes of Brooklyn Museum leaders, including Jewish director

Red paint covers portions of the entrance to the German consulate building, Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in New York. Pro-Palestinian protesters have vandalized locations associated with the Brooklyn Museum and United Nations in New York City, throwing red paint across their entrances in opposition to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. (AP Photo/Sophie Rosenbaum)

Red paint covers portions of the entrance to the German consulate building, Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in New York. Pro-Palestinian protesters have vandalized locations associated with the Brooklyn Museum and United Nations in New York City, throwing red paint across their entrances in opposition to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. (AP Photo/Sophie Rosenbaum)

Apparent Gaza activists hurl paint at homes of Brooklyn Museum leaders, including Jewish director

Apparent Gaza activists hurl paint at homes of Brooklyn Museum leaders, including Jewish director

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Gaza war latest | Drone strike hits Tel Aviv, killing 1 and injuring at least 10

2024-07-19 18:41 Last Updated At:18:50

A large explosion rumbled through the streets of central Tel Aviv early Friday morning after an apparent drone strike caused shards of shrapnel to rain down, injuring at least 10 people and leaving one dead, authorities said.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack. The Houthis have launched drones and missiles toward Israel throughout the Israel-Hamas war, in solidarity with the Palestinian people and against Israel. But until Friday, all were intercepted by either Israel or Western allies with forces stationed in the region.

Yahya Sare’e, the Houthis’ spokesperson, said in a statement published on the social media platform X that the strike was made in retaliation for the war and had hit one of many of the group’s targets.

The Houthis claimed their newest drones can bypass Israel’s aerial defense systems. However, an Israeli military official on Friday that the explosive-laden drone had been identified on Thursday and attributed the hit to “human error.”

The strike hit hours after Israel’s military confirmed one of its airstrikes had killed a Hezbollah commander and other militants in southern Lebanon. Israel has so far not made attacks on the Houthis, allowing its allies instead to take the lead as it focuses its efforts on the war in Gaza and ongoing fighting with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group.

It also came a day after Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, visited Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site on Thursday, a move that threatened negotiations to end the 9-month-old war in Gaza.

Israeli negotiators were in Cairo on Wednesday to press ahead with talks on a cease-fire and hostage release deal, as Israel and Hamas consider the latest proposal. In recent weeks, Israel has stepped up strikes in central Gaza, where many Palestinians have fled to escape fighting in other parts of the beleaguered territory.

Hamas' Oct. 7 attack sparked the war when militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducting about 250. Since then, Israeli ground offensives and bombardments have killed more than 38,600 people in Gaza, according to the territory’s Health Ministry. It does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

Two international courts have accused Israel of war crimes and genocide — charges Israel denies. Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are crammed into squalid tent camps in central and southern Gaza. Israeli restrictions, fighting and the breakdown of law and order have limited humanitarian aid efforts, causing widespread hunger and sparking fears of famine.

Here’s the latest:

BEIRUT — The militant Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have called on the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization to withdraw its recognition of Israel in retaliation for a resolution approved by Israel’s parliament rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The two groups made the announcement late Thursday following a meeting in the Gulf nation of Qatar between Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Islamic Jihad chief Ziad Nakhaleh and his deputy Mohammed al-Hindi, according to a Hamas statement.

The two groups said the Palestinian people have the right to set up their own independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Beirut — Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group said it fired a volley of rockets on a northern Israeli village Friday morning in retaliation for Israeli airstrikes the night before on south Lebanon that killed several Hezbollah members and wounded civilians.

In another attack, the group also said that it used for the first time a new rocket with heavy warhead to strike an Israeli army post in the disputed Kfar Chouba hills. Hezbollah said in a statement that the Wabel rocket, produced by the group in Lebanon, destroyed parts of the Rweisat al-Alam post and caused a fire inside it.

Hezbollah said its fighters fired a salvo of rockets on the northern Israeli village of Abirim for the first time since fighting along the Lebanon-Israel border began in early October.

Hezbollah began firing rockets shortly after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, saying it aimed to ease pressure on Gaza. Since then, Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon have killed over 450 people, mostly Hezbollah members but also around 90 civilians and non-combatants. On the Israeli side, 21 soldiers and 13 civilians have been killed.

Tel Aviv — Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone strike early Friday that hit part of central Tel Aviv near the U.S. Embassy, killing one person and injuring 10.

The aerial strike rumbled through the streets causing shards of shrapnel to rain down and spreading shards of glass over a large radius. The Houthis have launched drones and missiles toward Israel throughout the Israel-Hamas war, in solidarity with the Palestinian people and against Israel. But until Friday, all were intercepted by either Israel or Western allies with forces stationed in the region.

Yahya Sare’e, the Houthis’ spokesperson, said in a statement published on the social media platform X that the strike was made in retaliation for the war and had hit one of many of the group’s targets.

The Houthis claimed their newest drones can bypass Israel’s aerial defense systems. However, an Israeli military official on Friday that the explosive-laden drone had been identified on Thursday and attributed the hit to “human error.”

“It was a terror attack that was targeted to kill civilians in Israel,” the official said of the strike, the first to threaten Tel Aviv in months.

Israeli police investigate the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israeli police investigate the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

People gather at the scene of an deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, early Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Erik Marmor)

People gather at the scene of an deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, early Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Erik Marmor)

Israeli police and first responders gather at the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, early Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Erik Marmor)

Israeli police and first responders gather at the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, early Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Erik Marmor)

Palestinians sit around the bodies of their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at a hospital in Deir al-Balah, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinians sit around the bodies of their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at a hospital in Deir al-Balah, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinians gather near the bodies of their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at a hospital in Deir al-Balah, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinians gather near the bodies of their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at a hospital in Deir al-Balah, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

FILE - Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sept. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg, Pool, File)

FILE - Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sept. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg, Pool, File)

Relatives and friends of Israeli soldiers who were killed and of those who were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 Hamas cross-border attack take part in a march in southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, demanding the creation of a committee of inquiry to investigate the events on that day. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Relatives and friends of Israeli soldiers who were killed and of those who were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 Hamas cross-border attack take part in a march in southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, demanding the creation of a committee of inquiry to investigate the events on that day. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Destroyed buildings stand in the Gaza Strip during the sunset as seen from southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Destroyed buildings stand in the Gaza Strip during the sunset as seen from southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A Palestinian man holds a child wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in a hospital in Deir al-Balah, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

A Palestinian man holds a child wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in a hospital in Deir al-Balah, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

People watch from their balcony as Israeli police investigate the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 19, 2024.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

People watch from their balcony as Israeli police investigate the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 19, 2024.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

A runner stops to speak with Israeli police investigating the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 19, 2024.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

A runner stops to speak with Israeli police investigating the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 19, 2024.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Caution tape surrounds debris at the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, early Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Erik Marmor)

Caution tape surrounds debris at the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, early Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Erik Marmor)

A man eats breakfast in a cafe near the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 19, 2024.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

A man eats breakfast in a cafe near the scene of a deadly explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 19, 2024.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

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