gaza war

What happened at the Cedarhurst Israeli real estate event that generated a protest


The Great Israeli Real Estate event drew a different crowd than its normal clientele during a stop in Cedarhurst. Nassau police and protesters gathered down the road from Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst on Spruce Street on March 12.

Talk of a protest at the traveling real estate event, which also makes stops in Montreal, and Toronto, Canada, Teaneck, New Jersey and Brooklyn, selling Israeli real estate, began in Five Towns online forums such as WhatsApp and Facebook over a week before the event.

On the south side of the road, Jewish protestors gathered. Police officers confined both groups of protestors to the sidewalks.

“We are Jewish, we live in this community and we wont be bullied or intimidated in our own community by antisemites and people who support genocide against our people,” Joe Carpenter, a Five Towns resident and protestor said of the Palestinian supporters. “We love life, they love death, that’s the difference.”

Protestors came out in support of Palestine, gathering on the north side of Spruce Street in the public lot connected to Cedarhurst Avenue on that Tuesday,

“It’s a group of Long Islanders that want to see the occupation end,” Farahana Islam said, speaking on behalf of the protesters of the Israeli real estate event.

The police patrolling the event by foot, horse and marked vehicles from Waverly Avenue to Central Avenue declined to comment, as did the real estate event greeters who sat at the door of the synagogue.

“We’re not speaking with the press, we we’re told not to, we want to keep it about the event tonight, we want to keep it private,” a greeter said.

Josh Vitow, a Five Towns resident found the protest to be a waste of time, he said.

“I don’t understand who they’re protesting to considering this is an extremely Jewish area with people that are very Jewishly knowledgeable and have very firm opinions on the Israeli Palestinian conflict and their opinions are not going to get moved one iota by saying 10, 15, 100 protestors,” Vitow said of protesters for Palestine and later of those for Israel, counter-protesting Palestinian supporters.

Instagram accounts with usernames CAIRNewYork, CoalitionForLWLI representing Coalition for Left Wing Long Island, LI.Students4Palestine, MuslimsForProgress, PSLLongIsland representing Long Island unit of the Party for Socialism & Liberation, SB4Palestine representing Stony Brook students and YoungLongIslandForJustice posted fliers about a 6 p.m. protest at the event for the week leading up to the event.


The flyer also read that the real estate agents at the event would be engaging in the sale of property of settlements deemed illegal under international law.

“As the genocide continues, we call for an end to the settler-colonial project and it’s goal of expansion,” the flyer read.

In the WhatsApp group 5TownsCentral#29, where Five Towns updates are shared, an administrator message stated that Rabbi Shalom Axelrod from Young Israel Woodmere shared a message with YIW members to attend the real estate event for a large show of support. Axelrod’s message also included a statement from Cedarhurst Trustee Dan Plaut, saying he had coordinated with the police for their presence at the event and urged community members to attend.

“We must show that we are not intimidated and will continue our regular activities,” Plaut wrote in the message shared by Axelrod, posted to the Five Towns chat.