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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted July 28, 2014 by
    JoelGraham
    Location
    New York, New York
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Protests around the world

    More from JoelGraham

    Thousands attend New York pro-Israel rally

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JoelGraham estimates that about 8,000 people attended the July 28 demonstration. "The crowd stretched from 1st Ave. to 2nd Ave. and there were also people on the other side of 2nd Ave.," he said.
    - rachel8, CNN iReport producer

    Approximately 8000 people rallied across from the UN today, expressing unconditional support and solidarity with Israel as the ongoing crisis in Gaza continues to unfold. Speakers, as well as those who attended, blamed Hamas for perpetuating the situation and offered no apologies for those who have died in the newest conflict. The overwhelming consensus was that Hamas willfully puts their citizens in harm's way and knowingly encourage and accept any deaths that might result from that policy. While they expressed sympathy for the loss of innocent lives, they held Hamas responsible for those deaths.

     

    Senator Charles Schumer addressed President Obama's call for a cease fire and said that would not happen until Israel disarms Hamas and destroys the Hamas tunnel system under the border of Israel and Gaza.

     

    The rally was starkly different than Friday night's pro-Palestine protest in Times Square where people were angry and visibly concerned and saddened by what is happening in Gaza. The protestors at today's rally were generally happy and the mood upbeat. They expressed total confidence and commitment to their cause. There was an underlying sense of defensiveness when it came to talking about the media and the world reaction to the Gaza/Israel conflict. Many expressed anger and were concerned that the conflict might resurrect or exacerbate anti-Semitism because of "unfair and unbalanced" press coverage.

     

    The rally was sponsored by the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

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