Over 500 people rallied with Israeli flags and blue and white clothing at a Cleveland march in support of Israel on Wednesday.
The Jewish Federation of Cleveland and Israeli-American Council rally began at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, where participants marched half a mile to the Federation parking lot where they listened to speeches from local Jewish leaders, reported the Cleveland Jewish News.
The Cleveland rally was one of more than a dozen pro-Israel events held in the US on May 12.
One of the speakers, J. David Heller, the Cleveland Federation board chair, described the work done by his organization and the Jewish Agency to aid Israelis on a physical and psychological level.
“The violence and terror that Israel is going through right now – imagine if this was happening in England or in France, what the response would be from those governments at this time,” Heller said. “It’s just unimaginable that people think Israel shouldn’t have the right to defend herself. They absolutely must, and we cannot put up with this double standard anymore.”
Rabbi Stephen Weiss, of B’nai Jeshurun Congregation in Pepper Pike, Ohio, asked those in attendance to speak to others about the suffering Israel has endured due to the rocket strikes.
“Do not let your friends and others say, do not stand for the media saying, ‘Oh Israel, they’re the powerful one. They have the Iron Dome, they aren’t suffering,’” Weiss said. “These families suffered unimaginable loss. ... Our hearts are filled with grief and anguish over the loss of life on both sides. But we affirm strongly that we continue to stand tall alongside Israel, to defend her, to defend Israel’s right to exist in peace and Israel’s right to defend itself.”