Local Israeli and Arab supporters speak out

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Hundreds attended the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown on Sunday afternoon for a Support Israel Rally.

There were about 400 people in attendance and they had to set up extra chairs to make sure everyone has a seat.

The solidarity gathering started off with 15 seconds of powerful images from Israel, with the blaring sound of sirens going off in the background.

There were also prayers for soldiers in Israel and a Skype update from the Consulate General to Israel for the Mid Atlantic Area.

The attendees also learned about the public support for Israel. People of all faiths attended, including the pastor from New Life Church in Poland.

Before the rally began, the President of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, Bruce Lev, spoke about the importance of the event. He said that in some cases, Israel is painted out to be a country acting like a bully, and that it’s not the case.

“This isn’t a conflict between Hamas and between Israel, this is part of larger, world game where Israel unfortunately is a large part of it, and we don’t, they’d don’t want to be,” said Lev.

Lev added that the situation going on is more of a Christian-Muslim issue, and Israel is trying to remain a sovereign nation.

Pro-Gaza supporters also lent their take on the situation.

Haneen Adi lives in Liberty and is Palestinian. She is constantly watching the news for updates. Her take on the situation is that Israel is growing up a defense population of people and civilian children and women are paying the price.

“The number one thing to realize is these people are under occupation and they’re, any action they take is not an action of terrorism but it’s an action of resistance, it’s an act in which they’re trying to save their own lives. It’s not aggression,” said Adi.

Haneen added that people in Gaza live in fear of bombs going off at any moment.

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