Rocket siren sounds in London as 1000s attend pro-Israel rally (video)By Mason White 1:23 PM July 22, 2014
|Boy holding sign during pro-Israel rally|
By: Hydar Tomar
(Scroll down for video) A rocket siren sounded in London, England, for the first time since World War 2, The Zionist Federation of Great Britain said.
On Sunday, High Street Kensington was filled with blue and white flags as thousands of pro-Israel supporters came out to show their support for the Jewish state.
Organized at extreme short notice by the Zionist Federation as a counter rally to the recent anti-Israel demonstrations, the solidarity rally was backed by over 60 organizations from across the political and religious spectrum, both Jewish and Christian.
The event emphasized solidarity with Israel during Operation Protective Edge, the current military campaign to halt rocket fire from Gaza.
Among the sea of flags were also hundreds of specially printed placards and banners denouncing Hamas, the radical jihadi organization that has triggered the latest round of violence.
With an expected turnout of a couple of thousand, the stage and sound system were set up opposite the Israeli Embassy, with one side of the street cordoned off especially for the rally.
However, as the day progressed it became clear that the audience was going to be much larger than anticipated, with people traveling from across the country to attend.
The estimated crowd of over 5,000 were joined by several community leaders, who defended Israel’s actions as a justified response to indiscriminate rocket attacks, while also expressing sympathy with innocent civilians on both sides of the conflict.
Repeatedly, they placed the blame on Hamas for not only trying to kill as many Israelis as possibly, but also trying to maximize deaths on the Palestinian side.
The need for the cessation of rockets being fired into Israel was another common theme, with Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, explaining that a ceasefire was impossible while Israelis were subjected to these attacks. The former mayor of Sderot, David Bouskila, noted that the Israeli town had been targeted by thousands of rockets in this fashion.
The infamous siren that warns of these incoming rockets was also played over the loudspeakers, with the crowd silently crouching on the ground to symbolize solidarity with the Israelis for whom this is a daily occurrence.
In between speakers, the audience were entertained with live music and singing, as well as flag-bearing taxis and motorbikes, courtesy of the combined effort of Jews on Bikes and Yids on Bikes.
HE Daniel Taub, the Israeli Ambassador, stated: “While Israel is under attack from Hamas rockets, drones and tunnels, it is so important to see this show of tremendous support here in London for the millions of Israelis, Jews and Arabs, who have to live in reach of bomb shelters, and for the defense forces who are risking their lives to protect them.”
Alan Aziz, ZF Director, stated: “Despite the short-notice, the pro-Israel community came out in strength today. While Israelis have become used to seeing the world ignoring the threats they face and jumping up to condemn for seeking to defend themselves, today thousands of people came out to show them that they are not alone.”