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Rain Dampens Passover Rally for Peace in the Middle East

“Seek peace and pursue it” was the message proclaimed as approximately 750 people rallied Sunday outside United Nations headquarters in favor of Israeli negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The rally, which began with a march from the New York Public Library to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, was sponsored by the Passover Peace Coalition and featured such speakers as actor Ed Asner; Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary; Rabbi Joy Levitt, editor of Reconstructionist magazine; and writer Grace Paley.

Among the 23 organizations represented at the rally were Americans for Progressive Israel, Friends of Peace Now, Holocaust Survivors Association USA, Labor Zionist Alliance, New Jewish Agenda and Progressive Zionist Caucus.

The peaceful demonstration attracted participants of all ages, but rainy weather was responsible for the scene of colored umbrellas, wet Israeli flags and protest signs with runny words at a demonstration authorities said was expected to attract about 10,000.

But Asner, who spoke of the need for Jews to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, said he was happy that so many had turned out to demonstrate despite the weather.

The theme of freedom for all people at Passover was expressed numerous times throughout the rally.

As Levitt put it, “No Jew may recline as if we are free. Not until we are all free.”

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