Monday, July 24, 2006

I'm not usually one for rallies 

But you had better believe that I was at this one yesterday. I'm incredibly happy that I went. Featured speakers included several local Jewish leaders, several officials from churches across Los Angeles, and, of course, the Governator and Mayor Villaraigosa. Three very important things were stressed at the rally: 1) This is not a war against against the Lebanese and the Palestinians, but rather a war against Hezbollah and Hamas with disarmament of the former as the goal of this current conflict. 2) Israel has the right to defend itself and any other country facing these same conditions would react the same. 3) As Mayor Villaraigosa appropriately said, "We're here to affirm the basic truth that there can be no peace without security." You know your cause has resonance when peace activists are affirming the use of military action.

This might be my favorite part of the article, in which the "others" complain of bias against them:
"The mayor is with Israel," Hathout said. "The people of Los Angeles were not consulted on that."

They said Villaraigosa failed to show up at an interfaith rally at the Islamic Center a week earlier.

However, Villaraigosa's aides apparently did try to balance his appearances this weekend. Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, said the mayor's office contacted him Friday night to ask if any public events were planned by Muslims during the weekend. Syed told him there were none.

That's funny. Again, very glad that I went. It was very comforting to see so many Israeli and American (and even a couple Ethiopian) flags waving side-by-side.

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