Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Anthony Quintano
Secular New Year's Eve in NYC's iconic Times Square. (archive)

New York City is bracing for the hundreds of thousands of tourists and residents who flock into iconic Times Square to watch the crystal ball drop down during the annual New Year’s Eve celebration.

This year, the city is also bracing for what Mayor Eric Adams warned Wednesday will be an “added concern” over pro-Hamas demonstrations that are expected to disrupt the celebrations.


“Everyone looks for events like this if they want to do bad things,” Adams told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday.

“There’s an added concern because of some of the protests you have been seeing, and there was an attempt to disrupt the tree lighting, and we’re sure that there’s going to be some type of attempt this year to use that stage for some other concerns that people are having. The Police Department did an amazing job during the tree lighting to mitigate any form of major disruptions, and they’re going to do it this year,” Adams said.

The “other concerns” were an oblique reference to the hundreds of pro-Hamas demonstrations that have been taking place throughout the city since October 7th, when the Hamas terrorist organization invaded southern Israel, torturing, beheading, raping, mutilating, burning and slaughtering more than 1,200 people while kidnapping and dragging 250 others into Gaza captivity.

The terrorist organization has said unequivocally that it intends to repeat the October 7th attack “again and again and again” until its operatives succeed in annihilating the State of Israel and its Jews. In response, the Israel Defense Forces are waging war against the Gaza terrorists for the survival of the Jewish State.

“There’s something that’s known in policing, particularly when there’s some type of terrorist action, of secondary devices, things like that, they want to draw attention from one area to go to a specific target area, we’re really exercising our mental muscles to make sure that does not happen,” Adams said.

“But lone wolves are challenging. Like the individual, the perpetrator last year, he wasn’t on anyone’s radar. His assault on those two police officers, you just, you have to be ready for those unpredictable circumstances. It’s a real herculean task to manage that number of people without being heavy handed but being protective,” he said.

Earlier this year, the NYPD entered into a negotiated agreement on how it polices protests; Black Lives Matter protests in particular. The settlement forced NYPD to change the way it handles protests.

“The judge basically, you know, said you all need to come to an agreement,” Adams said. “I don’t believe that people should be able to just take over our streets and march in our streets. I don’t believe people should be able to take over our bridges. I just don’t believe you can run a city this complex where people can just do whatever they want,” Adams said.

“The decision that came out of that agreement, I thought it put us on a very troubling direction,” the mayor said. “And now you’re seeing it. You see 1,000 people go to Grand Central station, decided they want to just close down Grand Central station or they want to sit in the street in front of Times Square.

This past Monday, NYPD was forced to call a Level Three high-level mobilization when a protester started spray painting “hateful terminology” at a Starbucks in the city, “riling up the crowd,” the mayor said. “When police went in to take action, others started joining in. These are very volatile situations,” Adams noted.

“You can’t embolden those people who are watching what’s playing out in New York City. People come from all over the country. A lot of our agitators are outside people who come from all over the country and embed themselves into peaceful protests to rile up the crowd.”

Since October 7th, there have been 483 anti-Israel protests in the city, with more than 161,000 screaming their hate for the Jewish State.

Most of the protesters were peaceful, the mayor said. “But you’re seeing a small pocket of people who are now becoming part of the protest who are really trying to rile up the crowd and we can’t tolerate and accept that,” he warned.

“When people do things peacefully, it’s fine,” Adams said. “But all you need is a small pocket of people … that can disrupt a peaceful protest. And they’re there for one reason — to disrupt.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.