Masked activist busted for calling out ‘Zionists’ on crowded NYC subway train

NEW YORK — A masked pro-Palestinian protester recorded terrorizing a crowded Manhattan subway train by screaming “Raise your hand if you’re a Zionist!” surrendered to police Wednesday, officials said.

After seeing multiple wanted posters seeking his apprehension, Anas Saleh, 24, surrendered to NYPD transit cops at the Canal St. station with a lawyer in tow.

He was charged with attempted coercion, a misdemeanor, and given a desk appearance ticket. He’s expected to answer the charges in Manhattan Criminal Court in a few weeks.

His face covered with a black and white headscarf, Saleh allegedly stepped on a crowded subway train at the 14th St.-Union Square station on June 10 and started chanting, “Raise your hand if you’re a Zionist! This is your chance to get out!”

When no one responded, Saleh said, “Ok, no Zionists. We’re good!” before stepping off the train.

The train was held in the station as cops cleared protesters from the platform.

Saleh was part of a protest in Union Square where footage posted to social media shows a small group of demonstrators holding up a flag saying, “Long live October 7th.”

Protesters then flooded into the subway and rode down to Wall St., where they staged a larger action outside the Nova Exhibition, a memorial created to honor the victims of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack that killed some 1,200 Israelis. Hundreds were taken hostage.

“The Manhattan DA’s office and NYPD have been actively investigating this incident since it occurred,” a spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said of the subway incident. “We encourage anyone with additional information to call (212) 335-9040.”

At the Wall St. protest, footage shows a protester waving a flag with Hamas’ logo on it and another with the emblem of Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. Someone else is seen holding a sign saying Zionists are “not human.”

The next day Mayor Eric Adams joined relatives of the victims of the Oct. 7 terror attack to condemn the protesters, calling their actions “despicable.”

“Hamas is a terrorist organization,” Adams said. “Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. … Is this what New York represents? I say no.”

The word “Zionist” means someone who supports Israel and believes in the creation of a Jewish state, but during the many protests over the Hamas war in the city since Oct. 7 some activists have been equating the term with simply being Jewish.

“Among too many activists, it’s now socially acceptable code for ‘Jewish,’” the New York Daily News Editorial Board wrote after the incident. “See, the defense goes, we’re not going after Jews because of the God they pray to; we’re going after people because they believe in Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

“Any Jew on such a car would have good reason to feel intimidated, just as if someone chanted ‘Raise your hand if you’re gay,’ or ‘Raise your hand if you’re Republican,’ or ‘Raise your hand if you’re Black,’ followed by ‘This is your chance to get out,'” the June 14 editorial continued. “Every responsible New York leader should stand up against such vile behavior.”