January 7, 2009

NY rally cries out against Hamas

Demonstration in support of IDF gathers before Israeli Consulate in Manhattan, calling for end to terror through defeat of Hamas

Relly Cohen / Israel News

NEW YORK – Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday on the front lawn of the Israeli Consulate in New York in order to show their support for Israel and the IDF in its fight against Hamas in Gaza.

The demonstration was held under tight police supervision, and speeches were made by the heads of the Jewish community. Participants carried Israeli flags and pictures of the Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza, and called for the halt of Hamas' terror and peace in the Middle East.

Among the demonstrators were Jews, Christians, and even Indian-Americans, as well as members of Jewish organizations such as Students for Peace in the Middle East and Mothers against Terrorism.

Judy Shapiro, a resident of Brooklyn, participated in the rally and said she supported Israel every day of her life, especially after visiting Sderot last year. She said she supported the IDF soldiers and prayed for them daily.

Sari Singer, a New Yorker who was injured in the terror attack on the number 14 bus in Jerusalem in 2003, spoke during the demonstration. She currently manages a center that assists terror victims and their families in the US, Israel, and Canada.

"Hamas is responsible for the terror attacks against me and thousands of other people in Israel," she said. She accused Hamas of causing the 18-year old who executed the attack in which she was injured to leave the Palestinian soccer team in which he played, and said the terror organization must be stopped.

"Israel must protect itself in any way possible," she said, not just for itself, but for the benefit of the world.

Dozens of camera and media crews were on the scene covering the event, and Consul for Media and Public Affairs David Saranga said there was great significance to the presence of Israel's supporters in New York.

Saranga said many pro-Palestinian demonstrations had been covered worldwide, and that it was also important to hear from the other side. He said global news coverage of the event would help people to understand that Israel is the just side in the ongoing battle against terror.

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