Officials Condemn Protest Outside Exhibit Memorializing Oct. 7 Victims


Hundreds of people protested against Israel on Monday night outside an exhibition in Lower Manhattan that commemorates the more than 360 people who were killed by Hamas on Oct. 7 at a rave in southern Israel, prompting strong condemnations from public officials.

The location of the demonstration — outside an exhibition featuring portraits of the people killed at the Tribe of Nova trance music festival, along with cars that were charred in the attack and the personal belongings that some music fans left behind — was widely criticized from the city government to Washington.

Mayor Eric Adams of New York visited the exhibition on Tuesday and called the protest “despicable.”

And Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday, “The events at yesterday’s memorial to those murdered at the Nova music festival are outrageous and heartbreaking.”

One of the exhibition’s American organizers, Scooter Braun — a powerful music executive who was instrumental in the rise of Justin Bieber — said on Tuesday that the exhibition, “October 7th 06:29 AM — The Moment Music Stood Still,” had been extended a week, until June 22.

“For those who chose to protest against innocent music lovers who were murdered … WE WILL DANCE AGAIN,” Mr. Braun, the chief executive of the music conglomerate Hybe America, said in a statement.

The protesters gathered Monday evening steps away from the New York Stock Exchange building in Lower Manhattan, lit flares and repeated shouts including “Long live the intifada” and “Israel, go to hell,” according to videos posted to social media.

There was one arrest, according to the New York Police Department.

Josh Kadden, the exhibition’s lead organizer, said in an interview on Tuesday that his team had received 10 minutes’ notice that the protest was materializing. Visitors sheltered inside, he added, until it dispersed.

“For us, it’s core that nothing’s going to stop us,” he said.

Government officials condemned the demonstration on social media, including Gov. Kathy Hochul; Senator Chuck Schumer; Attorney General Letitia James; Mark D. Levine, the Manhattan borough president; and the official X account of Israel. Brad Lander, New York City’s comptroller, posted that the protest was “an abominable example of antisemitism.”

“We need a cease-fire in Gaza,” he added. “Gross bigotry does not advance that goal.”

In a series of social media posts, Nerdeen Kiswani, an activist, wrote that pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered at Union Square and decided to march to the exhibition.

“The nova music festival was a rave next to a concentration camp,” she wrote. “The exhibit at 35 Wall Street in NYC is propaganda used to justify the genocide in Palestine.” Within Our Lifetime, the group that Ms. Kiswani chairs, did not reply to a request for comment.

The exhibition ran for 10 weeks in Tel Aviv before supporters, including Mr. Braun, brought it to New York this spring.

“Music must remain a safe space,” Mr. Braun said in a statement in April, “and with this exhibit I hope we can see ourselves as any one of these music lovers and bring awareness to all of those in need.”



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