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Jewish Journal

Pro-Israel rally at Federal Building to begin at 4 p.m.

The Westwood site is no stranger to these demonstrations of support for Israel


by Ryan Torok

July 13, 2014 | 1:36 pm

A pro-Israel rally at the Wilshire Federal Building, located on Wilshire and Sepulveda Boulevards, on Sunday, kicks off at 4 p.m. Click here for more information. Organizations 30 Years After; Stand With Us; and Israeli American Council; and others are sponsoring the event, and if previous, similar rallies are any indication, hundreds, if not thousands, of people will show up to express their support. 

There's a lot happening in Israel at the moment. This past week, Israel and the Gaza have exchanged rocket fire, amidst upheaval over the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers and a group of young Israelis' subsequent revenge killing of a Palestinian teen.

Rioting in the streets, coupled with the razing of homes in the West Bank as Israel searched for the murderers, contributed to the escalation of violence between the two warring sides. For the past several days, Gaza ruling party Hamas has been launching rockets into Israel.

Israel, for its part, has responded to Hamas' actions with Operation Protective Edge, a military bombarding of aerial strikes against Gaza.

The worst has yet to come, apparently. Israeli leaders have said the deployment of ground troops into Gaza, a coastal enclave ruled by Hamas that Israel has a naval blockade over, might go down. Various media outlets, citing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israel leaders, have said Operation Protective Edge could last a long time.

Israel has mobilized thousands of Israel Defense Forces reserve troops in the event it is deemed necessary to pursue a ground option.

Israel Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel, who spoke to the Journal last Wednesday, said goals of Operation Protective Edge, which began on July 7, include securing Israel.

Some worry the embattled regions are on the verge of a Third Intifada.

More than 100 Palestinians have lost their lives as a result of this latest round of violence.

Israelis are faring better. This is due to the Iron Dome, a counter-defense system that has prevented Hamas rockets from hitting their targets in Israel.

Life in Israel has been disrupted by the violence, with bomb shelters becoming temporary homes for Israelis within firing distance from Gaza.

The Los Angeles community has been paying attention. On July 8, dueling rallies took place outside the Los Angeles Israeli consulate's headquarter. More than 300 people turned up at the anti-Israel event. 

The Federal Building is often the site of choice for these pro-Israel actions, like in 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense. More than 1,000 people showed up for the pro-Israel rally. 

An Israel-Hamas ceasefire resulted from the 2012 conflict, a similar deadly episode between Israel and Gaza. It is unclear if one will come any time soon. In the meantime, the United States has offered to help the two sides return to normalcy, if such a word can describe the two sides' relationship, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has also called for an end to the fighting.

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