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NYPD Seek Person Involved in Intimidation of Zionists on Subway

New York Police Department detectives are seeking an individual in connection to a viral incident in which anti-Israel protesters intimidated passengers on a subway car, NYPD transit chief Michael Kemper said on Wednesday.

Police released a photo of a suspect and asked for public assistance in identifying him. StopAntisemitism and other NGOs identified the man as Anas (Ahmad) Saleh.

The June 10 incident coincided with anti-Israel protests across the city. The suspect shouted, “Raise your hands if you’re a Zionist. This is your chance to get out.”

After getting no response, one of the men shouted, “Okay, no Zionists here. We’re good.”

The incident was widely criticized by US politicians, including New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who said last Thursday that her office was in consultation with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and state lawmakers about imposing a mask ban on subways. Many participants in the incident wore masks.

Nerdeen Kiswani, the leader of Within Our Lifetime, the primary protesting organization that day, defended the man for ordering Zionists to leave the subway car.

“We don’t want Zionists in Palestine, NYC, our schools, on the train, anywhere. This is free speech; it is saying we don’t want racists here,” Kiswani wrote on social media. “Zionists are not a protected class. It’s not enough to say racists because Israel is beyond racist. Zionism is settler colonialism and is actively genociding Palestinians. Like Joe Biden said, anyone can be a Zionist. Has nothing to do with race/religion.”

Kiswani attacked the police for focusing on the incidents rather than on the alleged beating of protesters by pro-Israel activists and threats of rape.

X account Luis Documents published a video on Tuesday of a masked teenager with an Israeli flag telling them, “I’m going to rape your mom.”

“Do you condemn Zionist pro-Israel counterprotesters threatening rape towards pro-Palestinian activists and their mothers?” demanded Kiswani. “Are you going to put their faces on wanted posters?”

City Council Member Shahana Hanif condemned the “violent behavior and racist language.”

“I’m appalled to see young people hurl rape threats and racist insults against pro-Palestinian protesters, many of whom are Muslim, Palestinian, and Jewish,” Hanif said on X on Tuesday.