In response to tensions between Israel and Palestine, local residents supporting both sides organized rallies today in Downtown Naperville.
Walk for Israel
The Walk for Israel group gathered at the municipal center at around 11 a.m. They said the goal of the demonstration was to show their love and support for Israel.
“When our homeland is being attacked, when our brothers and sisters are being terrorized, and lives are in danger, we stand up and say ‘Am Yisrael Chai’ – the Jewish people are alive,” said speaker Rabbi Mendy Goldstein.
“I refuse to be silenced the way that my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were while they feared for their lives and ultimately marched to their deaths,” said speaker Talia Raab. “Their voices will forever ring out through me and all of us here.”
After listening to speakers, the group supporting Israel made their way through Downtown Naperville.
Naperville for Palestine
The Naperville for Palestine group also gathered in the area, starting at Rotary Hill at noon.
Organizers said the protest was to show solidarity for Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Palestinians.
“Many people want to say this is too complicated to choose a side or this is a religious issue,” said speaker Sara Khasawneh. “This issue has absolutely nothing to do with religion and everything to do with basic humanity.”
“We are not here today because of our collective hate of Jews. We are not here today because of our collective hate for Israel,” said speaker Wali Khan. “We are here today because of our collective love for humanity.
After speakers, the group supporting Palestine also made their way through Downtown Naperville.
According to the Associated Press, Israel and Palestinian group, Hamas, agreed to a ceasefire on May 20 after 11 days of conflict.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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