Lunchtime pro-Israel rally in Chicago's Loop

November 20, 2012 (CHICAGO)

A small stage and public address system were setup in front of the Thompson Center for the rally scheduled to begin at noon. Police gathered as well.

StandWithUs Chicago and the Jewish United Fund say they will use the rally as a way to show their support for Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas. The rally's intention is to send a message to the United States that they do not want to see Israel forced into an artificial peace.

Members of the groups say, instead of another ceasefire, they want real peace brought to the region. They say they will also pray for the safety of Israeli and Palestinian civilians caught between increasing tensions and bombings.

"We want peace," said StandWithUs Chicago's Peggy Shapiro. "Everybody at this rally and everyone in Israel is very tired of war and wants peace, but we want a real peace, not an artificial one, and that means no enforced concessions, dangerous concessions, no pressuring for a ceasefire which is not really a ceasefire but only a chance for Hamas to rearm, because we've done that."

Monday night in Chicago, hundreds of people marched through the Loop to protest the violence in the Middle East. They are calling on President Barack Obama to put an end to the conflict and the U.S.'s military support of Israel. They say it has led to the death of innocent civilians.

Hundreds were expected to attend the Tuesday afternoon rally.

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