Two New York City residents are speaking out after being attacked by a pro-Palestinian mob outside a local bagel shop in a brawl that was caught on camera.
Amit Skornik and Snir Dayan served together a few years ago in the Israeli Defense Forces but didn’t expect to find themselves battling pro-Palestinian aggressors outside a well-known Upper East Side bagel shop on their way to lunch on Tuesday.
“I had just gotten home from a two-month road trip and Amit came to visit me. We both know each other from our military service, and we decided we’re going to eat something,” Dayan told Fox News on Thursday.
Dayan said he recalled seeing “a bunch of pro-Palestinian protests outside” and decided to attach a small Israeli flag he had in his apartment to his motorcycle as a “quiet” form of protest.
“I just took it and tied it to my motorcycle as my way of quietly protesting and we drove. When we got to our destination, I parked the bike and I understood that if I left the flag on my motorcycle, there is a very good chance that when I returned I’d have no motorcycle,” he said.
Dayan, who owns a private security company based in New York, removed the flag and walked with Skornik toward Ess-A-Bagel when they saw a pro-Palestinian protest with close to 500 demonstrators down the street.
“The moment we got there they were attacking a news reporter and my friend told me ‘listen, put the flag in your helmet, don’t start anything,” Dayan recalled. “That’s exactly what I did, but when he told me this, he said it in Hebrew.”
“Someone with their back to us heard him say it in Hebrew. He immediately looked at us and then went into the crowd. I didn’t put too much thought into it but around 10 seconds later, he and another 10 people were charging towards us. I got the first punch then we realized that we’re being attacked and we started to respond.”
The two 27-year-old men can be seen throwing punches as close to 20 demonstrators close in on them.
“It took 20-30 seconds for police to arrive, but the protestors didn’t really care, they pushed the police and went around them and tried to attack us,” Dayan said. “We responded to them by ourselves. Two of us around the whole protest and every second more of them would join, around 20 from each side. ”
As the group tried to close in, Dayan said it was then that a police officer removed him from the crowd and arrested him.
“I asked the officer why he was arresting me, he said because he saw me attack them. Maybe in the chaos that’s what it looked like,” he told Fox News, “but that was clearly not the case. I was the only one that got arrested and I was very annoyed about that.”
Dayan was taken to a local precinct and held for under 30 minutes before officers drove him to his Midtown apartment. Officers advised him to stay inside for the rest of the day.
“That’s a crazy thing to say. This is my neighborhood,” Dayan said. “Control the protests. The moment they get violent, stop them. Don’t tell me to stay inside like a prisoner because you can’t control them. They wanted blood, I could see it in their eyes. They must be stopped.”
Despite the violent attack, Dayan and Skornik said they have no intention of hiding their Jewish identity in New York City moving forward.
“I will never in my life. We take a lot of pride in our country and our language,” Dayan said. “We’re living in New York, the most diverse place in the world. The opposite is true. We just feel stronger and even prouder of our religion and our way of life because our way is peace. We proved that over and over.”
The NYPD did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.