Pro-Palestinian activist group takes credit for vandalism of NY Public Library, targeting wall honoring Jewish donor

"This comes at a time when the city's libraries are facing steep budget cuts that have left us unable to maintain our current levels of service, and this vandalism will be costly to repair."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
A pro-Palestinian activist group has taken credit for vandalizing the main branch of the New York Public Library on Thanksgiving to specifically target a Jewish donor.

Within Our Lifetime (WOL), a pro-Palestinian activist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel took credit on Instagram for vandalizing the main branch of the New York Public Library near Bryant Park. Earlier this month, the Post Millennial revealed that the activist group was promoting a “tool kit” to plan and execute protests as near identical pro-Palestinian rallies have sprung up on college campuses and in cities across the US.

Hundreds of protesters swarmed around the building while some of the activists spray-painted the words "Free Palestine" on the pillars of the front of the library and vandalized it with bloody handprints. Palestinian flags were also hung on the structure as well as signs with the slogan “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free,” a call for genocide against Israelis.

Radicals from the group also placed stickers on the structure calling Zionism terrorism and claiming CUNY (City University of New York) where Jewish students have been regularly targeted by Hamas supporters, complicit in “genocide.”

The main target of the vandalism was the dedication stone naming the Stephen A Schwartzman building.

Schwartzman, a wealthy Jewish businessman, donated $100 million to renovate the facility in 2008.

The radical group issued a statement late Thursday night taking credit for vandalism across Manhattan on Thanksgiving. “Today on 'Thanks-Taking' we stood on the right side of history by refusing to celebrate a genocide while another one was actively taking place. All throughout the thanksgiving parade people held Palestinian signs and flags and disrupted the colonial propaganda machine.”

“We started at Madison square park and marched throughout the city disrupting shopping, transportation, ultimately the celebration and normalization of the genocide of the indigenous people of turtle island and the indigenous people of Palestine both carried out by settler colonies the United States and Israel.”

“We ended on the steps of the New York Public Library which was covered in fake blood by the end. Specifically around the engraving of Steven Schwartzman building. Schwartzman is Blackstone Zionist billionaire CEO and former Trump adviser who opened a Blackstone office in Tel Aviv. The investment management company Blackstone Group has pledged $7 million to aid for Israel in October.”

“There is no such thing as a pause on genocide Palestinians have been facing annihilation since 1948 and we'll continue to resist it by any means necessary the resistance of our grandparents and grandparents are why we are still here today. #FreePalestine #WithinOurLifetime”

Schwartzman served as chair of Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum and is a long-time friend of former president Donald Trump.

Earlier this month, Schwatzman’s daughter Zibby Owens, who runs the publishing and media company Zibby Books withdrew her company's sponsorship of the 2023 National Book Award ceremony writing in a Substack post that a source told her that “all the nominees of the awards had gotten together as a block and decided to use their platform when winning speeches to promote a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel agenda.”

She added, “I wanted the NBF (National Book Foundation) to prevent a bullying atmosphere where speeches could be used to intimidate based on religious views,” specifically calling out the genocidal phrase “From the river to the sea.”

Owens serves on the advisory council for the New York Public Library. Her father is one of the trustees.

The NYPD told The Post Millennial in a statement, "On Thursday, November 23, 2023 there is a complaint report on file for Criminal Mischief in front of 476 5 Avenue,  within the confines of the 14th precinct. A 23-year-old female reported to police at 1440 hours that unknown persons made graffiti at multiple locations at the public library and fled the scene in unknown directions. The Hate Crime Task Force was notified of the incident. There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing."

Earlier Thursday during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, pro-Hamas protesters were arrested after interrupting the event by gluing themselves to the street along the parade route.

Thursday night, the library said in a statement that the institution is facing budget cuts and the vandalism will be expensive to clean up. “The New York Public Library is a public institution with a mission to provide free access to knowledge for all. We strongly support the right to protest.”

“Unfortunately today, individuals involved in a protest vandalized the Library's flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman building, a space devoted to the open exchange of ideas and intellectual debate. This comes at a time when the city's libraries are facing steep budget cuts that have left us unable to maintain our current levels of service, and this vandalism will be costly to repair. We do not anticipate any unplanned closures due to this, and remain committed to providing the resources we know so many people rely on."
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