On Tuesday afternoon, nearly 1500 Chicagoans gathered outside of the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago for a rally to show solidarity and support with Israel. The rally was quiet and peaceful, however, it did draw hostile opposition from anti-Israel protesters, who organized a counter protest across the street.
The battle going on in the Middle East continues to provide a stark contrast between supporters of Israel and opponents, as well as the unification of many who otherwise normally hold opposing viewpoints.
While the counter protest consisted of the usual radical-left anti-war, anti-capitalist crowd, the Rally for Israel brought many unlikely allies together. Far-left members of the U.S. Congress, Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Danny Davis (D-IL) joined Republican leaders from the Chicago suburbs, as well as tea partiers in their support of Israel.
The battle between the two groups continues to present a fight over the narrative, amounting to a “he said/she said” situation. Supporters of Israel argue that Israel has every right to exist, and defend itself, while opponents claim that Israel is the aggressor, the oppressor and intentionally killing innocent civilians and children.
Aaron Cohen, Vice President of Communications for the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago told Breitbart News, “Their (Hamas) vision of what the outcome should be, is to eliminate the state of Israel… Until both sides say we want to live in peace together and Hamas has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, this is what we are going to see.”
Cohen’s claim seemed to be proven correct, when I asked a Palestinian-activist student what the solution to the conflict is at the counter protest. She told me, “it’s our land, we are going to get it back sooner or later.” After pressing further as to whether or not she meant only Gaza or the entire state of Israel, she continued, “It’s Palestine, they just call it Israel, so yeah, the whole map.”