Amidst the fury sparked by the vandalism of the Central Park World War I memorial by anti-Israel protesters, Mayor Eric Adams took a firm stance, expressing his love for America and pledging $5,000 of his own money to the reward offered for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators. Emphasizing the importance of defending symbols of freedom, Adams condemned the desecration and stressed the need to speak out against such acts.

The reward, totaling $15,000 with contributions from Crime Stoppers, aims to ensure accountability for the heinous vandalism, which included burning an American flag. A 16-year-old protester, affiliated with the anti-Israel group Within Our Lifetime, was arrested by the NYPD for vandalizing the memorial, charged with criminal mischief and making graffiti. The teenager, a regular at rallies, defaced the 107th Infantry Memorial with anti-Israel slogans and stickers. Despite initial reports suggesting his father turned him in, it was later refuted by the police. The act sparked outrage among New Yorkers, with locals condemning the destruction as counterproductive to the protesters’ cause. Additionally, another protester torched an American flag, further fueling criticism. Cleanup crews swiftly removed the graffiti, while nearby monuments also faced vandalism during the chaotic demonstration.


Anti-Israel ads have been appearing on subway trains in New York City, sparking outrage among MTA officials and the Jewish community. These ads, including one linking to an interview with a Palestinian activist, accuse the US of funding genocide in Gaza. Pro-Israel groups have criticized the MTA for not swiftly removing the ads, citing legal obligations and concerns over inciting violence against Jews. The MTA spokesperson acknowledged the issue and stated that unauthorized ads are promptly removed, though previous incidents of anti-Israel artwork have also caused controversy. The uptick in antisemitic protests and vandalism coincides with ongoing tensions over the Israeli-Hamas conflict, highlighted by recent incidents of vandalism at a World War I monument in Central Park.


Trevor Bickford, an admitted wannabe jihadist, received a 27-year prison sentence for attacking three NYPD officers with a machete in Times Square on New Year’s Eve in 2022. Bickford, originally from Maine, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault charges. He had traveled to New York with the intent of carrying out a mass killing in the name of Islamic jihad. During the attack, he injured three officers before being shot and apprehended. Bickford’s radicalization was attributed to consuming Islamic and Al Qaeda propaganda. The FBI had been alerted to his behavior prior to the attack. Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams praised the conviction and sentence as a message against terrorism. Bickford still faces charges in state court for the same incident.


Beloved actor and Brooklyn native Steve Buscemi, 66, became the latest victim of random street violence in New York City when he was assaulted in broad daylight in Kips Bay. The “Boardwalk Empire” star suffered facial swelling and was taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment, while his attacker remains at large. Buscemi’s publicist confirmed his well-being and expressed sadness over the incident, highlighting the concerning trend of unprovoked assaults in the city. The assault marks the second attack on a “Boardwalk Empire” actor this year, following a similar incident involving Michael Stuhbarg. Buscemi, a former FDNY firefighter, is renowned for his extensive career in film and television, and his heroic response to the 9/11 attacks.




Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed the Biden administration’s desire for Israeli forces to withdraw from Gaza, citing concerns over civilian protection and post-conflict planning. Blinken criticized Israel’s lack of a clear plan to safeguard civilians and address the aftermath of the conflict. He warned against a potential Israeli ground operation in Rafah, suggesting it could lead to civilian casualties and strengthen Hamas. Despite reaffirming the U.S.’s commitment to Israel’s security, Blinken emphasized the need for a more sustainable approach to preventing Hamas from governing Gaza. However, experts questioned the effectiveness of the Biden administration’s strategy, while Blinken affirmed ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages and develop plans for security and governance in Gaza.


U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon has indefinitely postponed former President Donald Trump’s trial involving classified documents due to legal issues and deadlines concerning classified evidence. The trial, originally set for May 20, has no new date scheduled. Cannon cited unresolved pre-trial motions, Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) issues, and trial preparations as reasons for the delay. This delay could push the trial beyond the November presidential election, potentially affecting its outcome. Trump currently faces other criminal trials in New York, Washington, D.C., and Fulton County, Georgia, involving various allegations, including hush money payments and attempts to overturn election results.


On Wednesday, the GOP-led House swiftly defeated a motion by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to remove Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) from his position. Despite Greene’s announcement to proceed with her motion, it was met with widespread disapproval, and the measure was tabled by a vote of 359-43. Unlike a similar motion that led to Kevin McCarthy’s removal as speaker last year, Johnson had support from both Republicans and Democrats, including former President Donald Trump, who praised Johnson’s performance. Greene’s efforts were opposed by most of her colleagues, with only a minority supporting her motion. Johnson expressed gratitude for the vote outcome, dismissing Greene’s effort as misguided. Despite Greene’s persistence in her campaign against Johnson, recent polling suggests that only a minority of Americans support replacing him as speaker. Trump, in a post on Truth Social, commended both Johnson and Greene while advocating for GOP unity amid a narrow majority in the House.



Pro-Palestinian protesters at Harvard Yard voluntarily dismantled their encampment after university officials caved to their demands about the school’s endowment. The group, Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine, stated that their encampment had served its purpose. Interim President Alan Garber agreed to arrange a meeting between protesters and university officials to address the students’ questions. The protest movement at Harvard was part of a broader trend on college campuses calling for divestment from Israel and businesses supporting it. The protesters aim to discuss issues such as divestment, disclosure, and the creation of a Center for Palestine Studies with university officials, including those from the Harvard Management Company, which oversees the institution’s substantial endowment. 



Sen. Tim Scott introduced a resolution condemning the rise of anti-Semitic acts and speech at colleges in the United States, urging compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, blocked the resolution, with Sanders proposing his own resolution that addressed various forms of bigotry, including Islamophobia and racism. Scott argued that the focus should be on condemning anti-Semitic violence and hatred directly, rather than diluting the issue with broader considerations. He emphasized the need for moral clarity and support for Jewish students facing threats on campuses.


Hunter Biden’s appeal of three gun charges was rejected by a federal court, allowing his trial in Delaware to proceed starting June 3. The court dismissed the appeal citing lack of jurisdiction, clearing the way for a three- to six-day jury trial. Biden, facing charges including firearm possession by an unlawful substance abuser, has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. The court upheld the denial of motions to dismiss the indictment, including claims of vindictive prosecution and improper appointment of the special counsel. This decision follows the collapse of a plea deal last July and subsequent indictment on gun felonies.



Students at Duke University in North Carolina walked out of comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s commencement speech and booed as he was being introduced, with some carrying Palestinian flags. Seinfeld, who was receiving an honorary degree, faced the protest due to his support for Israel. It’s unclear if the booing was directed solely at Seinfeld or at the student protest as well. The event proceeded, and Seinfeld was able to deliver his speech uninterrupted.


Israel NEWS


Israel celebrated its 76th Independence Day amidst the ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza. Due to the security situation, traditional celebrations were muted, including the torch-lighting ceremony, which was pre-recorded without a live audience. The event honored the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, with torches lit in memory of those who lost their lives in the current conflict. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation via video, emphasizing the resilience of the Israeli people in the face of adversity. Celebrations throughout the country were scaled back, including the cancellation of fireworks shows and the traditional Israeli Air Force flyover. Despite the challenges, Netanyahu met with torchbearers, highlighting Israel’s historical resilience and spirit.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Jerusalem would prevail in the conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, even if it required fighting with “fingernails” alone. He emphasized Israel’s strength of spirit and unity, citing the nation’s history, particularly during the War of Independence. Netanyahu’s statement came after U.S. President Joe Biden signaled a potential halt to arms supplies to Israel if it were to launch a significant operation in Rafah, the last stronghold of Hamas. Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to defending itself, regardless of international pressure, drawing parallels to the Holocaust and stating that Israel would stand alone if necessary.



The Israeli government recently took action to shut down the operations of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera in Israel. This decision followed a government vote authorizing the closure for 45 days, citing concerns about the network’s alleged role in harming national security and inciting against Israeli Defense Forces. Communications Ministry inspectors raided Al Jazeera’s offices in Nazareth, confiscating broadcasting equipment. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi accused Al Jazeera of serving as a propaganda mouthpiece for Hamas. Al Jazeera criticized the decision as a suppression of press freedom and denied the allegations against it.



The IDF Home Front Command announced the cancellation of Lag B’Omer celebrations at Mount Meron due to ongoing security concerns amid attacks by Hezbollah. Normally, tens of thousands of observant Jews visit the site during this pilgrimage. The decision follows repeated rocket and drone attacks by Hezbollah on northern Israel, with some rockets sparking fires in border communities. Israeli fighter jets struck Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon in response. Earlier, an Israeli soldier was killed in a Hezbollah attack near Malkia. Since October, Hezbollah-led forces have launched near-daily attacks along the border, resulting in casualties on both sides. Israel has warned of war if Hezbollah continues to threaten northern communities.


Israel’s population has reached 9.9 million, with an expected increase to 10 million by the end of the year. About 73.2% are Jewish, 21.1% are Arab, and 5.7% are categorized as “other.” Since last year, 196,000 babies were born, 60,000 people died, and 37,000 immigrated. About 28% of Israelis are aged 0-14, while 12% are 65 and over. By 2030, the population is expected to reach 11.1 million, and by 2040, 13.2 million. Since 1948, over 3.3 million people have made aliyah to Israel.




The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution by a large margin, with 143 in favor, 9 against, and 25 abstentions, granting new “rights and privileges” to Palestine and urging the Security Council to reconsider its request for full UN membership. The resolution aimed to address the escalating crisis in Gaza and the death toll there. While it grants Palestine some new rights, it reaffirms its status as a non-member observer state. The United States and Israel were among the countries voting against the resolution, while many other countries supported it. The resolution comes amid heightened tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and growing concern over the situation in Gaza.


Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, has revealed details about joint plans with China to build a lunar nuclear reactor within the next decade. The reactor would power a proposed lunar base operated jointly by the two countries. Roscosmos director general Yury Borisov disclosed that development of the plant is underway, and the countries are working on experimental and research facilities for the project. The International Scientific Lunar Station (ILRS) is planned to be deployed in two stages from 2025 to 2035 and would consist of multiple modules. The need for a reliable, long-lasting source of nuclear energy on the moon arises because the lunar night lasts about 14 Earth days, making solar panels insufficient. The project was initially announced in 2021 but may not involve NASA astronauts due to strained relations between Russia and the United States following U.S. sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.



The Wall of the Righteous in Paris, dedicated to those who saved Jews during World War II, was vandalized with painted blood-red hands. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo condemned the vandalism, describing it as “unspeakable.” The wall, bearing the names of over 3,900 individuals who risked their lives to rescue Jews in France, was defaced overnight. Ariel Weil, mayor of Paris’ central districts, shared photos of the damage on social media, showing blood-red handprints on the memorial’s stonework and nearby walls. Hidalgo has filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor, emphasizing that no cause justifies such actions that tarnish the memory of Holocaust victims and the courageous individuals honored on the wall.



AstraZeneca has requested the withdrawal of European authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EMA confirmed the withdrawal on its website, citing the request from the marketing authorization holder. AstraZeneca’s vaccine received EMA approval in January 2021, but concerns arose about its safety due to rare cases of blood clots. Despite the EMA’s conclusion that the vaccine did not significantly increase the risk of blood clots, doubts persisted. Issues such as manufacturing errors and insufficient data on efficacy in older populations also contributed to skepticism. The vaccine, distributed widely, particularly in poorer countries, faced competition from mRNA vaccines like Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which were perceived to offer better protection against COVID-19 and its variants. While the UK initially relied heavily on AstraZeneca’s vaccine, it eventually shifted to mRNA vaccines for booster programs, reflecting a global trend away from the AstraZeneca shot.



Israeli Eurovision singer Eden Golan was instructed to remain in her hotel room in Sweden due to thousands of pro-Palestine protesters, including activist Greta Thunberg, gathering outside. The protesters called for Golan’s exclusion from the singing competition, with banners denouncing the event as a “Genocide song contest” and condemning the use of Eurovision to “whitewash Israeli crimes.” Singer John Ondrasik criticized the situation, highlighting Golan’s inability to leave her hotel room due to safety concerns as an act of hate. Golan expressed her hope that her performance could promote unity amid the tensions.