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Pro-Hamas Protesters Burn American & Israeli Flags Outside Israeli Consulate in NYC

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Edited by: Fern Sidman

In a shocking and incendiary display of hatred, three masked individuals set fire to American and Israeli flags outside the Israeli consulate in New York City on Wednesday. According to a report in The New York Post on Thursday, the incident, captured in disturbing images and videos, took place at the intersection of Second Avenue and East 42nd Street, sending ripples of outrage and concern through the community.

The pro-Hamas protest, which quickly turned into an act of arson, saw the American flags consumed by flames, nearly disappearing beneath the intense heat. The three protesters, one of whom has a history of recent arrests, carried out their act in broad daylight, standing defiantly in front of the consulate building, as was reported by The Post.

One of the protesters, dressed in a keffiyeh and a shirt emblazoned with “Gaza,” held a burning American flag in the bike lane directly in front of an NYPD booth. As was described in The Post report, the bright yellow flames reflected off the booth’s glass, creating a stark and unsettling image. Another masked individual set an Israeli flag on fire, which quickly wilted and fell from its flagpole.

The NYPD responded swiftly to the incident, resulting in the arrest of one of the protesters. Jahki Lodgson-McCray, a 20-year-old from New Jersey, was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree menacing, disorderly conduct, and failure to use a sidewalk, according to the information provided in The Post report. It remains unclear whether Lodgson-McCray was the individual holding one of the American flags or the person burning the Israeli flag.

The visual impact of the burning flags, particularly in such a public and prominent location, has elicited strong reactions from various community members and leaders. The Post reported that the Jewish community, in particular, has expressed deep concern and condemnation of the act, viewing it as an escalation of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments.

The arrest of Lodgson-McCray highlights the legal ramifications of such acts of protest. The charges of reckless endangerment and menacing reflect the potential danger posed by setting flags on fire in a public space, particularly in close proximity to people and property. Disorderly conduct and failure to use a sidewalk are additional charges that underscore the disruption caused by the protest.

This arrest marks Lodgson-McCray’s fourth run-in with the law in recent weeks, following charges of criminal trespassing and resisting arrest in May, the Post report added.

Despite Lodgson-McCray’s arrest, the identities of the other two protesters remain unknown. Their involvement in the flag-burning and subsequent escape have left many questions unanswered.

The flag-burning was part of a larger pattern of vandalism that plagued Manhattan on Wednesday. Other vandals splashed red paint across various locations, including a Palestinian mission and a luxury Upper East Side building, as per the information in The Post report. Photos also show a NYPD cruiser covered in the same blood-red paint.

Indicated in The Post report was that earlier in the week, similar paint-carrying protesters targeted the homes of the Jewish director of the Brooklyn Museum and several of its board members, further highlighting the escalating tensions and targeted actions against symbolic figures and locations.


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