In a world in desperate need of unity and encouragement, New York City Mayor Eric Adams addressed a crowd outside the United Nations in Manhattan at the “New York Stands With Israel’ rally on Tuesday. His message echoed the grim realities of the war in Israel and the Gaza Strip and affirmed New York City’s support for Israel.
“We’re not okay,” Adams said, in a statement that highlighted the tragedy befalling Israelis and Palestinians.
The Mayor acknowledged the situation in Israel and addressed the Hamas supporters in the city:
It is not right to see children being shot in front of their families and grandmothers being dragged away from their homes. It is not right that people in New York City are celebrating while the destruction of our city takes place.
Thank you @nycmayor for not only standing with Israel and Jews worldwide, but doing so with such powerful words and empathy. Please share this video far and wide so it can bring some level of comfort and strength to a nation in such a dark hour.
Video Credit: Rafael Elias pic.twitter.com/UEP4TBebD1
— Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (@InnaVernikov) October 13, 2023
He then continued by expanding on his “we’re not okay” theme:
We are not all right when Hamas believes that they are fighting on behalf of something and their destructive, despicable action is carried out. We are not all right when we still have hostages who have not come home to their families. We are not all right, and we’re not going to say we have a stiff upper lip and act like everything is fine. Everything is not fine. Israel has a right to defend itself, and that’s the right that we know.
Adams expressed solidarity with the people of Israel and the Jewish community in America. “Your fight is our fight,” he intoned. “And right here in New York, we have the largest Jewish population outside of Israel. This is the place that our voices must raise and cascade throughout the entire country.”
The mayor also promised that “everyone responsible for this crime will be held accountable. “He also thanked the leaders of “all religious groups” in the city for reaching out to him.
In the midst of the airstrikes, and the reports of more than 2,000 deaths in the fighting, Adams’ speech appeared to aim to bring the conflict close to home. Given the fact that New York City knows what it is like to be the victim of a terrorist attack by a radical extremist, his words are even more true.
Adams made his remarks as Israel laid siege on the Gaza Strip – the territory Hamas controls. According to reports, the Israel Defense Forces have sent ground troops to the region in order to eliminate terrorist threats.
The issue may be spreading beyond the Middle East. Former Hamas leaders have called for Muslims to commit acts of violence in order to avenge Palestinians.