Israel supporters rally near Obama hotel


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel supporters rallied near the hotel where Barack Obama is staying in Washington.

"We want to remind the president-elect of his own words and ask him to be supportive," rally organizer Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld told the crowd of more than 125 people, referring to Obama’s statement this past July on his visit to Sderot that if  "someone was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that, and I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.

Rally goers chanted "Israel wants peace, Hamas wants war" and "No more rockets," and sung songs, including "Am Yisrael Chai" and "Hatikvah."

Aviva Tessler, whose organization Operation Embrace assists victims of terror in Israel, displayed a partially exploded Kassam rocket from Sderot to dramatize the danger that Israelis face from Hamas.

The rally took place on a sidewalk about a block away — as close as police would allow — from the Hay-Adams Hotel, where the president-elect and his family are currently residing.

Herzfeld, rabbi of Ohev Sholom-The National Synagogue in Washington, said that anti-Israel demonstrations had occurred near Obama’s hotel earlier in the week and that they wanted Obama to hear their message that "we are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the land of Israel."

"He’s in Washington, he’s the president-elect of the United States — he needs to hear our voice," Herzfeld said.

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