Crowds of Jewish Americans and Israelis gathered Wednesday night, May 12, 2021 in the parking lot across from Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center to rally for unity and peace in Israel amid barrages of rockets fired at Israeli civilians over the previous three days. The rally was organized by several community members with Americans United with Israel and Israeli-American Council organizations leading the charge in just a day, bringing about 300 people who filled an entire block. The rally began with the distribution of “Israel is Under Attack” and “I Stand with Israel” posters, Israeli flags and stickers.
“There is no excuse for this violent virus of hate that is spreading,” said Cheryl Dorchinsky, executive director of Americans United with Israel and the Atlanta Israel Coalition. She hosted and moderated the rally, inviting community leaders and public figures to support Israel after the worst fighting in that country between Palestinians and Israelis since 2014 intensified Monday night.
That’s when militants in Gaza fired rockets at the Tel Aviv metro area, the southern city of Ashkelon and Israel’s main airport. At least seven Israelis have been killed in the air strikes and dozens wounded. More casualties were reported among Palestinians when Israel returned fire. The violence coincided with heightened religious observances, including the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and Yom Yerushalayim, the day of Jerusalem. As reported by national and Israeli media, factors contributing to the violence included police measures around Jerusalem’s Old City and unrest in east Jerusalem, where dozens of Palestinians fear eviction.
At Wednesday’s gathering in Sandy Springs, Dorchinsky rallied, “Now it’s the time to speak out and [proclaim] that Israel has the right to defend itself today and every day!” To which those gathered responded with applause and whistles.While more people continued to arrive at the rally, Yoav Zilber, chair of the Israeli American Council in Atlanta and an Israeli native, took the stage and shared his anguish over the severe unrest in his city. He began his oration with a timer that reached 15 seconds as an implication of the time it takes for an Israeli civilian to reach shelter from the moment sirens blare. “Fifteen seconds is the time that a family from Ashdod has to scoop up their [sleeping] kids from bed in order to find shelter,” Zilber said. He added that his “sisters had to wake up five times last night and rush their kids into a safe room. No child, no elderly, no person has to live like that. No person should sleep inside a shelter.”
Both Zilber and Shaked Angel, IAC regional director, agreed that the purpose of the rally was not to take a political stance but rather stand behind Israel in solidarity and support. Angel told the AJT earlier in the day that aside from considerable support, American Jews should counter false information from social media and mainstream news. “Part of the reason we organized the rally so quickly is to avoid any counter-protestors.”The rain of rockets aimed at Israeli civilians from Gaza began after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem. It then escalated to a full operation by the Israel Defense Forces as a result of massive attack on Israelis and Arab civilians living inside the country.
During Wednesday’s rally, Eric Robbins, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, expressed grief to the AJT over the rain of rockets that devastated Israel. “It’s sad that we have do to [this rally] but it speaks to the strength and organizations and resilience of our community to pull together.”
Robbins also stressed the importance of community gatherings. “We are all hurting. We are all [sad] that we cannot be there for our family in distress. It [the rally] sends a message that we do stand with Israel and that we have a definitive strong connection to Israel and it’s a very strong obligation that we have.”
He emphasized the significance of showing local and national governments “our alliance, because we need to secure Israel.”
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Israel consul general to the Southeast, shared her agony at the rally about the Israel-Palestinian escalated conflict, the rising toll of dead and injured, cities destroyed and continuous terror frightening Israel.
“A 5-year-old died from intentional casualty in his own house, where a child is supposed to feel the safest. I think that this is mostly painful about Israel being targeted by a terror organization like Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and other extreme organizations, who are committing a double war-crime and intentionally targeting Israeli civilians, while doing so from their own civilian population, using them as human shields.”
Sulton-Dadon also reminisced about the 1973 peace agreement and ended with the song of “Am Israel Chai” (the people of Israel live) as the crowd sang along.
Alexandria Shuval-Weiner, senior rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell, later closed the rally with the Israeli anthem, “Hatikvah.”
Americans United with Israel calls on you to join us at location coast to coast and share that you support Israel’s Right to Protect Herself”. We condemn the latest unprovoked violence unleashed against the Jewish state. In Atlanta, AUWI can be found on the green at City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, GA 30328, on the green at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12.
More than 150 rockets directed against Israeli cities and towns from Hamas-ruled Gaza. We can not sit idle, we must show our support and let our voices be heard.
We continue to work with our global partners and Americans across the country as we monitor the situation closely. Jerusalem is being targeted by rockets for the first time since the 2014 Gaza war. We hope and pray for a resolution to come swiftly.
This violence is not just limited to Israel. Today, anti-Jewish protesters tried to lynch a Jew in New York City, in broad daylight. Right now, Jews are not safe anywhere.
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, with life saving medical assistance and inventions that are changing lives across the globe every day. Right now, terrorists are trying to take away the citizens of Israel’s rights to live, work, and pray in safety. We must not allow this to happen. We must stand up for our brothers and sisters in Israel, and put an end to their oppression. Join me on the green at City Spring at 6 p.m. on May 12, bring your flags and your heart.” said Cheryl Dorchinsky, executive director of AUWI.
Coast-to-coast rallies are scheduled on Wednesday, May 12.
All the cities are listed below. Attend. March. Stand up for the human rights of the Jewish community.
Whether or not you are personally able to attend, please send this information to your friends, family, and to everyone you know. Ask everyone you know to join us.
Sycophantic terrorist supporters are plotting rallies across the world right now to incite and foment violence and Jew-hatred. They are pushing a distorted narrative of lies and deceit to justify their oppression of the Jewish people and the senseless and indiscriminate killing sprees of terrorists hellbent on the elimination of the Jewish people.
We cannot allow this to happen unchallenged. We must fight for the truth and take back our narrative. We must once more fight for our basic human rights — including the most basic right to a life free of oppression and Jew-hatred.
We must fight for our emancipation – for our freedom from hatred.
We must stand strong against the barrage of hatred and hostility we face simply for being Jewish.
With your help, the Jewish community will not only survive, but thrive in the liberation and peace that can only come about when we End Jew Hatred.
Americans United with Israel, in collaboration with Atlanta Israel Coalition, hosts this conversation about recent attacks and unrest in Israel.
Joining the discussion will be Fleur Hassan – Nahoum The Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem.
Learn more about her below and share this important event with all!
Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum will provide an update about the situation in Jerusalem and the attacks from Gaza. Fleur Hassan-Nahoum grew up in Gibraltar, the daughter of Sir Joshua Abraham Hassan, former Chief Minister and Mayor of Gibraltar. She has a law degree from King’s College London, where she practiced law before making Aliyah to Israel in 2001. Following the November 2018 elections, Hassan-Nahoum was appointed Deputy Mayor by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. She is considered Jerusalem’s de facto Foreign Minister, responsible for tourism and foreign relations, accommodating new embassies, international economic development, business relations, and Diaspora affairs. She has placed particular focus on building relations with Christians for whom, like Jews, Jerusalem is central and advocating for those who are marginalized among Jerusalem’s diverse population including ultra-orthodox, new immigrant, Ethiopian, and Arab residents.
Fleur Hassan-NahoumDeputy Mayor of Jerusalem
Yom Yerushalayim, (Jerusalem Day) is a day of recognition, education and celebration of the history of Jerusalem, the Jewish people and the Land of Israel; celebrating their contributions to the world in fields of technology, science, medicine and morality. This is a time for Americans to show support for Israel’s sovereignty and its importance for stability, justice and democracy in the Middle East. We share many common principles including democratic values, a strong commitment to eradicating terrorism and a call for Peace. So let your voice be heard to all by joining us in support of this very special event!
Platinum Level 1 ($5000): Includes 12 guest passes for the entire event, your AD on all social media outlets including Facebook (over 1.5 million fans), Twitter, multiple email blasts to our members, priority seating, freebies (too many to name) and admission to a private concert the night before with traditional music and kosher Israeli fare, wine, beer and a champagne toast, an opportunity to schmooze with honored guests with photo and media coverage. And it’s tax deductible - WOW!
Platinum Level 2 ($2500): Includes 5 guest passes for the entire event and all of the above perks
Platinum Level 3 ($1000): Includes 4 guest passes for the entire event and all of the above perks
Gold Level Sponsor ($300-$999): Includes 2 guest passes. You will be recognized in print media and on the internet as one of our honored Gold Sponsors
Silver Level Sponsor ($50-$299): You will be recognized in print media and on the internet as one of our honored Silver Sponsors
Date: Sunday May 5, 2013
Time: 1:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Coordinator: Sheri Sands
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