Rally participants call for Gaza ceasefire

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NORWALK – Proponents of a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza strip held a rally Sunday afternoon on The Green.

Before a banner reading “END THE GENOCIDE,” speakers addressing the roughly 40 participants gathered before the park’s bandshell urged the international community to put pressure on Israel to end hostilities in the Palestinian territory.

“We argue this cannot be allowed to continue,” said John Miksad, chapter coordinator for World Beyond War. “And our government is complicit. It is supplying the arms, it is supplying the money, and it is providing the political cover to allow this to continue.”

World Beyond War, the rally’s organizer, is an international group that, according to its website, seeks to abolish the institution of war.

Continuing his remarks, Miksad said, “What we are against are war crimes, oppression, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. If Israelis were in this situation, I would be out here in this park for them.”

Miksad added that criticism of the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza should not be conflated with antisemitism.

It appeared no Norwalk elected officials attended the rally. The only elected official publicly identified was state Rep. Keith Denning, D-142nd Dist., who represents Wilton, New Canaan and Ridgefield.

Denning told the group that peace is an active force that requires courage to stand up against injustice, strength to uphold the rights of the oppressed, and a voice to speak out against the wrongs that disturb the tranquility of the world.

None of the speakers referenced the continuing military activities of Hamas, the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group that governs Gaza whose invasion of Israel last Oct. 7 triggered the war.

Photo Credit: Harold Cobin

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