Torn Up and Apart: New York Since October 7

Israel and Palestine: historically, a topic that those on opposing sides can’t talk about without exploding into a fight. Since October 7, those fights have been erupting everywhere, all the time. In this week’s cover package, “Torn Up and Apart,” we attempt to capture the tensions that have developed around the war in Gaza in New York, a city with large Muslim and Jewish populations — between friends and family, within institutions, in group chats, and on university campuses. What’s happening in the city is small compared to the horrifying reality of war — one in which over 13,000 Palestinians (a number that has risen since we sent our issue to the printers last Friday) and more than 1,200 Israelis have died (and 240 remain hostages of Hamas). Here, the conflicts are around the politics of who gets to speak, who has influence, and how that influence is exercised; it’s about feelings and deeply held beliefs, and how they’re shaping how people end up misunderstanding each other. At times, putting this collection of stories together felt like a metanarrative on the themes of the package itself. Our own workplace worked through differences of opinion; some subjects pulled out of pieces at the last minute for fear of losing their jobs. The stories contained here are a snapshot of a moment, one in which the emotions are still raw for everyone we spoke to. One detail has stayed with me, from James Walsh’s report on who gets to protest at Columbia University. After trucks started driving around campus, doxing pro-Palestine students, there was a chilling effect; one Palestinian American student, Maryam Alwan, had taken to wrapping her entire head with a keffiyeh at rallies. “I was fully covered to the point that I looked scary,” she said, “because I was scared.”

—Gazelle Emami, editorial director, New York

The War and New York Fears, protests, posts, firings, doxings, lost friendships, vigils, and betrayals. The city since October 7.

Photo: Hugo Yu

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