LANSING, MI (MPRN)-- Pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups are holding events across Michigan to offer their perspectives on the conflict in Gaza.
Dozens of people gathered in front of the state Capitol in Lansing Wednesday to call for peace in Palestine – at the same time decrying Israel for launching an offensive on Hamas in the Gaza Strip earlier this month. They blame Israel for the deaths of hundreds of civilians.
Protesters like Thasin Sardar of East Lansing say state officials should formally ask the federal government to take action.
“I believe the state officials have every right to intervene and ask them not to use U.S. taxpayer money to kill civilians,” said Sardar.
“I wish they would speak up,” said Somer Ramadan, a fellow demonstrator. “I know (state elected officials) know this is wrong – I know they know. And they just need to speak up and forget about their political agenda, or whatever they have, and just speak the truth because that’s what needs to be done.”
Ken Harrow, an English professor at Michigan State University, said he wanted to lend a Jewish voice in support of those in Gaza.
“I believe it’s important for me to say publicly that I’m Jewish,” he said, “in order that it can be seen that Jews really have permission to oppose to politics of various Israeli governments.”
Israel and its supporters blame Hamas for civilian deaths in Gaza. They say Hamas is using them as “human shields.”
Thousands of supporters of Israel gathered at a Synagogue in Southfield Wednesday night.
The Associated Press reports the United Nations’ top human rights official believes both Hamas and Israel may have committed war crimes in the conflict.