Thousands rally for Israel at Ground Zero
New York rally, (Photo: Shahar Azran)

Thousands of people gathered on Sunday at 7 World Trade Center — Ground Zero — and at another 13 locations across the United States, in response to a wave of anti-Semitic attacks nationwide and to stand with Israel in its ongoing battle against terrorism and demonization.

The rally, "United Against Anti-Semitism. United Against Terror. United for Us" was led by the Israeli-American Council (IAC) New York Region with 100 Tri-State Jewish community organizations. IAC communities and many Jewish organizations joined in 14 rallies from coast to coast bringing thousands of people to the streets, as anti-Semitic hate crimes rise nationwide in the wake of the latest outbreak of violence between Israel and Gaza.

"Despite the cease-fire in Israel, we've seen a wave of unprecedented attacks on Jews and a rise in anti-Semitic hatred here in the US. That's why thousands of us mobilized today across this great nation to speak out strongly and stand with our families here and in Israel," said IAC Co-founder and CEO Shoham Nicolet.

In addition to the rally in New York City, other rallies are taking place Sunday nationwide including in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Denver; Great Neck, Long Island; Houston; Kansas City; Los Angeles; Miami; Orange County, California; Orlando; Philadelphia; Rochester, NY; and Tenafly, NJ.

"To our brothers and sisters in Israel, we want you to hear loud and clear: We stand with you as you show the world what it means to live bravely under the threat of hatred and annihilation you have faced since before the State of Israel was even created," said Elisha Wiesel, son of the late author and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

Sarri Singer, who survived a 2003 suicide bombing of an Israeli bus, said that, "Whether it is in Paris, London, Brussels, Israel, New York City, or anywhere else in the world, terrorism does not discriminate. It can happen anywhere and at any time. All of us have an obligation to show that we are not going to stand by while we let those who have little value for human life continue to hurt and murder innocent people. An attack on any of us is an attack on all of us."

The IAC chose the World Trade Center as a gathering spot as the site reflects America's own history of being targeted by hatred and terror.

"The World Trade Center is a powerful symbol of America's resilience and resolve against hatred and terrorism, just as the people of Israel stand strong in the face of terrorism and hate," said Nicolet. "Today we showed that New Yorkers and all Americans are resoundingly united against anti-Semitic hatred and terror, here and in Israel."

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