In a show of solidarity and concern for the ongoing conflict in Israel, demonstrators from various backgrounds and communities gathered at Yonkers City Hall’s War Memorial on Friday to call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the violence in the Gaza Strip.
The rally aimed to draw attention to the urgent need for peace in the region. The Hamas terrorist organization conducted a widespread attack on Israel on October 7. In response, a humanitarian crisis emerged that has claimed thousands of lives in recent weeks, including many children. Organized assembled this rally to call for an end to that violence.
The rally brought diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, including Muslims, Jews, and Christians. This underscored their shared desire for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. Attendees expressed their collective grief over the tragic loss of life and their frustration with the continued violence.
Local names for an international issue
Congressman Jamaal Bowman, known for his active advocacy on human rights issues, addressed the crowd. He emphasized the need for dialogue and condemned the attack by Hamas. He described it as “horrific and deserving of condemnation.” Congressman Bowman comparatively noted that “eighteen human rights organizations have declared Israel an apartheid state,” calling for more conversations on this pressing issue and advocating for Palestinian statehood.
Former Yonkers City Council President, Michael Khader, who is the first Jordanian American to hold the position, also spoke at the rally. He alongside the many dozens in attendance expressed support for peace in the region.
Member of the Yonkers Human Rights Commission, Hector Santiago, noted that no current City of Yonkers officials attended the event.
Organizers of the event stressed that this would not be their last rally. They promised to continue advocating until a ceasefire occurs in Israel. The rally served as a reminder that, regardless of titles or affiliations, there is a growing call for peace. And that this call to end the violence in Israel and Palestine comes from people of various backgrounds uniting in their demand for change.