2:58 pm Nov. 15, 2012
As of this writing, 274 rockets have struck Israel since yesterday, according to a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces, while Israel has launched a series of attacks on targets in Gaza.
The conflict is somewhat surreal, since "Both the Israeli army and Hamas are posting updates on their attacks in real time."
The online accounts of the conflict from both sides have graduated from saber-rattling and an IDF boast about the assassination of a Hamas leader to graphic appeals for international sympathy in the form of accounts and pictures of innocent casualties.
The Palestinian death toll is currently reported at 11. Three Israelis have been killed so far.
Within New York officialdom, traditionally the foremost (non-evangenlical) bastion of support for Israel in America, the response has been characteristically unequivocal.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, whose district in Manhattan and Brooklyn has a huge number of Jewish voters, called the attack by Hama "barbaric" and said, "These attacks are entirely without justification and amount to murderous provocations by a terrorist regime which refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and which refuses to work toward a peaceful coexistence for both sides."
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio agreed.
"The State of Israel has every right to defend its people. These indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians represent an affront to everything we stand for as New Yorkers and Americans."
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn wrote on Twitter, "I stand by Israel & support its actions to root out terrorism & protect its borders."
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said he wanted the United Nations to "immediately take a strong position against those unprovoked attacks."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was in Israel in 2009 when Sderot was hit with rockets, used today's violence to call attention to the ties between New York and Israel.
"As sirens sounded in Tel Aviv just now and residents scrambled for shelter, many New Yorkers were immediately transported back to the worst days of first Gulf War, when the fear of missiles landing in Israel’s largest city turned into reality."
Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American Democratic operative based in Brooklyn, took issue with Bloomberg's comments.
"Mike Bloomberg needs to continue to be the mayor of all New Yorkers with the understanding that he represents one of the largest Palestinian communities in the United States," she said.