Rabbi Avi Weiss is planning to lead a group of rabbis and congregants Tuesday at 10 a.m. in a peaceful sit-down demonstration on First Avenue at 40th Street to block traffic headed to the United Nations to protest Palestinian plans this week to seek UN recognition as a state.
“When you block that street, you block a substantial entryway to the UN,” the rabbi explained. “We’ve notified the police of this planned action. We’re not going to give the police grief, only to make a point.”
Glenn Richter, a spokesman for Rabbi Weiss’ group, AMCHA: The Coalition for Jewish Concerns, said what the Palestinians are trying to do is “to simply sweep around any form of negotiations with Israel in which the Palestinians would have to acknowledge, give up rights or endorse Jewish rights.”
“This is to happen within 14 days of 9/11 and 18 years after [the Oslo peace accords],” Richter added. “Hundreds of Israelis have been killed in terrorist attacks, rockets are still reigning down from Gaza, and there does not seem to be any sense of a responsible, normal [Palestinian] state. And so we’re saying this isn’t the time. … There are times when you watch history going by and times when you have to step in the middle of the street and say, ‘History is not passing by, we have to do something about it.’ We will not allow business as usual inside the UN when we make a point of moral conscience outside.”