by Tana Senn
SEATTLE-Today, the local Jewish community held a solidarity with Israel rally from 3:00-4:00pm at Temple De Hirsch Sinai on Capitol Hill. The overflow crowd of over 1,600 people showed their support of and solidarity with Israel. The
Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle helped initiate and coordinate the rally with more than 30 organizations who lent their name, energy and support for the rally.
“We all wish for shalom, or peace, as the loss of life on both sides is certainly a tragedy. However, the State of Israel has the right to defend its people. The daily barrage of rockets that the people of southern Israel have experienced over the last few years has already left them with lasting mental and physical scars. Israel had no choice,” explained Richard Fruchter, President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, referring to the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza.
The goal of the rally was to bring the Jewish community of greater Seattle together in support of and in solidarity with Israel and its southern region, which has been under constant rocket attack by Hamas militants for years.
“Whether it is a brutal terrorist assault on the Chabad House in Mumbai or the shooting of our own Jewish Federation staff right here in Seattle, we must stand together in support of Jews anywhere in the world, and especially here, today, in solidarity with Israel, our homeland,” expressed Fruchter.
The program of the rally included:
• Songs led by musician Asher Hashash
• Welcome by Rabbi Daniel Weiner, Temple De Hirsch Sinai
• Video “Fifteen Seconds”
• Remarks by Richard Fruchter & Ron Leibsohn, Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle
• Prayer for Israel, led by IDF soldier Ital Rosenberger
• Remarks from Israeli Consul Ismail Khaldi
• Video & remarks by Fred Tobis, AIPAC Pacific Northwest
• Israel Wants Peace & Call to Action by Nevet Basker, Stand With Us
• Singing of Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, led by Rabbi Simon Benzaquen & other rabbis
Rally attendees wrote letters to their US Senators urging their continued support of Israel. They also wrote and sent postcards and children’s drawings of support to southern Israelis.
A number of letters from members of Congress were received showing their support of Israel including those from Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, Congressman Dave Reichert and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Mayor Greg Nickels also sent a letter to Seattle’s sister city Beersheva, which has recently come into Hamas rocket range.
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