Rally for Israel
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-07-23
Rally for Israel
Thousands of British Jews have shown support for Israel at a solidarity rally held at the JFS secondary school in Kenton, Middlesex.
Listening to speakers including Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and Israel Ambassador Zvi Heifetz, the crowd affirmed their commitment to Israel and its right to defend itself and seek ways to end terrorism in the region.
The rally of over 7,000 people under the theme "Yes to Peace, No to Terror" was the biggest gathering of British Jews showing solidarity with Israel since 2002 when an event in Trafalgar Square attracted over 30,000 people.
A live link-up with Israel at an underground bunker in Moshav Pekiin allowed the crowd to hear first hand what was happening.
"It is important that people in Israel know that we have support from British friends and family during this difficult time," said Brian Kaufman sheltering in Moshav Pekiin. "I lived through the blitz as a youngster growing up in Liverpool and now I am living in fear through an indiscriminate Hezbollah blitz in Israel."
Addressing the crowd, Ambassador Heifetz said: "Israel wants only peace with its neighbours and the right to live in security. Israel wants to continue to prosper as a Jewish and democratic state guided by our principles of justice and equality. This is the true message of Israel."
The Stand With The People of Israel solidarity rally was organised as a cross community event by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
"Israel withdrew from Lebanon. Israel does not want to be in Lebanon," said Sir Jonathan. "It does not want to do any of the things it is now doing. It accepted in good faith the commitment of the United Nations that it would not have to. It is only acting today because the international community has failed to honour its obligations, when Israel met hers.