Pro-Palestinian protesters vandalize homes of Brooklyn Museum director, board members

NEW YORK — Pro-Palestinian protesters vandalized the homes of Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak and several Jewish board members early Wednesday in what local elected officials are calling an act of “vile antisemitism.”

Vandals defaced the front of the homes with red paint and also painted inverted red triangles on the doors, which Jewish advocate Aviva Klompas described as a “symbol used by terrorists to mark targets they want to take out.”

New York Mayor Eric Adams denounced the hateful actions.

“This is not peaceful protest or free speech. This is a crime, and it’s overt, unacceptable antisemitism,” he stated on X. “These actions will never be tolerated in New York City for any reason. I’m sorry to Anne Pasternak and members of @brooklynmuseum’s board who woke up to hatred like this.”

Adams’ words were echoed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, who called the vandalism “an abhorrent act of antisemitism.”

Outside of Pasternak’s home in Brooklyn Heights, protesters tied a banner peppered with red handprints reading “Anne Pasternak Brooklyn Museum White-Supremacist Zionist.”

“The cowards who did this are way over the line into antisemitism, harming the cause they claim to care about, and making everyone less safe,” New York City Comptroller Brad Lander tweeted Wednesday.

At least one of the addresses hit was an apartment building on Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said.

“This is not legitimate protest. This is not free speech. This is vile antisemitism making Jews unsafe,” he wrote on X. “We cannot turn a blind eye to this.”

Local residents said they were outraged by the hate display.

“It’s terrible what happened,” said Kenneth Albert, 69, a neighbor. “it looks like it’s antisemitic because the word zionist is in it and then they had a flag here. I have a front apartment, but I didn’t hear anything last night.”

A cleaning crew washed away some of the paint.

“It’s very uncommon,” another neighbor said. “I never seen any like this happen in this neighborhood.”

“We are deeply troubled by these horrible acts,” museum spokesman Taylor Maatman said.

Councilman Lincoln Restler, a Brooklyn Democrat, said there is video capturing the vandalism and that police are investigating.

“This vandalism and attack on people’s homes is indefensible and counterproductive,” he wrote.

Homes in both Brooklyn and Manhattan were hit between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Wednesday, police confirmed. Detectives were in the process of linking all of the vandalism to the same group.

At a Cobble Hill residence on Wednesday afternoon, workers were seen power-washing red paint splattered across the front door, the first-floor facade and first- and second-floor windows. A resident said a person connected to the Brooklyn Museum lived there.

Slogans including “Blood on your hands” were stenciled on the residence.

“This is terrorism. You’re literally threatening someone and making them feel vulnerable,” said local resident Robert Shlederer, 52.

Around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, 15 protesters splattered the front of the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations with red paint.

Those vandals fled the scene in a white U-Haul truck.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters rallied outside the Brooklyn Museum on May 31, with some getting into the building and setting up tents. NYPD cops arrested 34 protesters during the raucous rally.

There has been a steady stream of protests in the city and across the nation since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, sparking a ferocious war in Gaza.

On Monday, protesters rallied outside the Nova Exhibition, a memorial created to honor the victims of Hamas’ attack that killed some 1,200 Israelis and took hundreds hostage.

Some protesters waved a flag with Hamas’ emblem, as well as a sign lauding the massacre.

Adams and relatives of those killed during the Oct. 7 terror attack visited the exhibition Tuesday, calling the previous day’s protest “despicable.”

“I cannot describe what I felt,” said Menashe Manzuri, the father of Roya Manzuri, 22, and Norelle Manzuri, 25, who were among the Israelis killed in the Oct. 7 massacre. Manzuri was at the exhibition when the protest broke out Monday.

“It was like they killed me again and again and again.”