Rallies for Israel, Palestine draw crowds in American cities amid conflict

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Supporters of Israel and backers of the Palestinian cause rallied in American cities Sunday over the conflict that has killed hundreds and wounded thousands in the Middle East.

Palestinian Americans planned to gather Sunday outside of the Israeli consulates in Atlanta and Chicago.

“In recent years, we have seen the unified Palestinian resistance grow stronger,” said Hatem Abudayyeh, the national chair of the US Palestinian Community Network and a spokesperson for the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine, who has family in the region. “It really should be no surprise that this is happening.”

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Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set to lead a Jewish community gathering in support of Israel at a synagogue in San Francisco.

A pro-Palestinian march was planned for Times Square Sunday afternoon. Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul called the anticipated gathering “abhorrent and morally repugnant.”

On Saturday night in New York City, around 300 people, many in Jewish religious garb, had sung in Hebrew and waved an Israeli flag on the grounds of Columbia University.

A rally was also planned Sunday at the White House in Washington, where the conflict has thrust President Joe Biden into a Middle East crisis that risks expanding into a broader conflict and has left him fending off criticism from GOP presidential rivals.

Blinken, who gave interviews to multiple US television news shows Sunday, said Biden’s “direction was to make sure that we’re providing Israel everything it needs in this moment to deal with the attacks from Hamas.”

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