By CBS NY and COLlive
Thousands of people gathered to rally for Israel in Times Square Sunday afternoon, as Israel battles the ongoing terror from Hamas in Gaza.
The crowd included Jews from all walks of life, including Lubavitchers that came from the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. There was even a man holding a sign “I am a Palestinian Christian who loves Israel.”
Jews among the protesters chanted, “We are the Jews and we are not afraid,” as they gathered to stand with Israel at a rally at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue, 1010 WINS’ Derricke Dennis reported.
As CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported, the violence has actually been happening a world away from Times Square, but it felt real for many there.
Jeff Katz of the Lower East Side said he has family in Israel and, “of course I’m worried about them.”
Michael Collins is an Israeli living in New York City. “My parents are in Tel Aviv. I talked to them last night, 3 o’clock in the morning, and a bomb; a missile came from Gaza close to their neighborhood in Tel Aviv,” he said. “So they woke up scared and called me.”
Ayelet Vardi served in the Israeli military for five years. “The retaliation that started 14 days ago became something that is devastating for both sides, and we want to just end this,” Vardi said.
Lubavitchers in the crowd helped men put on Tefillin and say a prayer for Israel, its citizens and the brave soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces. Women were given candles for Shabbos.
Facing a group of Satmar chassidim standing alongside Arabs protesting Israel’s existence, a spirited group of Israelis began singing “Am Yisrael Chai.”