Demonstrators from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rallied in the streets of New York on Sunday, showing that the bloodshed reaches beyond the Middle East. NY1’s Michael Herzenberg filed a report.
Thousands of people lined both sides of Seventh Avenue in Times Square on Sunday.
"We want to show solidarity with our brothers and our family in Israel,” said one attendee.
The very young and old filled more than a block of Times Square.
"we love Israel we feel it's the home of the Jewish people,” said another.
“We're worried about the situation,” said a third.
They came from the five boroughs, the tri-state region and beyond. They all came with a similar message on Sunday, the bloodiest day of the almost two week old increase in violence.
"We said we want peace. What do they want from us? They want to annihilate us, that's why this is happening,” said another attendee.
Down the avenue, about two dozen people staged a counter demonstration.
"This is not fair. Palestinian kids, people, innocent people dying all the time they don't have an army,” said one of the counter-protesters.
They are pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.
"The state of Israel is not legitimate by the Jewish law,” said another counter-protester.
Saturday, many more came to say Palestinians just want to live free and peacefully.
"It's not a matter of religion. It's a matter of Human Rights. We have to show that what Israel is doing to Palestine is wrong. It’s just not acceptable,” said an attendee.
"This conflict was imposed on us,” said Ido Aharoni, consul general of Israel in New York, at the 92nd Street Y. He told his country's supporters Hamas is to blame.
Sen. Charles Schumer and local leaders also got behind Israel saying it's defending itself against rocket attacks that target civilians.
Many were pained by the bloodshed on both sides.
"As a former officer in the Golani brigade, my heart is with the families and with all the casualties and innocent people that died in the last few days,” said Gil Galanos of the Israeli American Council of New York.
Each side, those at this event and rallies on Times Square say they are praying for an end to hostilities and eventually a lasting peace.