Social Action Coördinator’s Report on the Reach Out for Israel rally, 7/20/2014
The United Jewish Federation of San Diego held a rally in support of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge”. There appeared to be a few hundred in attendance with American and Israeli flags waving side-by-side and news trucks from Channels 5, 7 & 8. While it is sad that our community should feel a need to justify Israel’s right to protect herself, the outpouring of support from our civic and religious leaders was heartening.
Congressional Representatives Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Marty Block all spoke proudly of Congress’ bi-partisan resolution affirming Israel’s right to defend herself against Hamas. There were also words of support from Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman and regards from Toni Atkins and Juan Vargas. Scott Peters told a personal story: while on vacation in Israel, he fell in love with the land and the people. He later learned that Israel’s Iron Dome defense system had intercepted a missile bound for the very hotel in which he and his wife had been staying.
Ori, an Israeli teenager from a kibbutz near Sha’ar Hanegev, San Diego’s s ister city in Israel, got emotional as he told us how his entire kibbutz had to scatter because it lay on the border with Gaza. He told us how his community had been fired upon from Gaza and how the IDF did not respond because they didn’t want to spark “another war”. He then told us how warmly he was welcomed and how he now felt that he had another family in San Diego. Good thing I brought a handkerchief.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how many from KA had turned out. But when the music started playing, we started dancing. That’s when we came out in force. Even the police and security guards smiled at our circle of joy. Once again, we showed ourselves to be a vibrant part of our wider Jewish community and I am proud of our shul.
I don’t know how many –if any- came out from the Christian churches that I contacted. But it is my intention to keep them in the loop for future events.