Protests Against Israel's War Effort in Gaza Spread

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People hold banners calling for an end to the violence in Gaza during a vigil at a park in Tokyo on July 21, 2014. Some 500 people attended the protest.Credit: AFP

The conflict in Gaza continues to evoke protests around the world, mainly against Israel's war effort.

Some 500 people in Tokyo staged a silent protest against the bloodshed, the largest Gaza-related demonstration since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 14.

In the United States, mass marches were held in several major cities.

Thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported. Protesters were carrying Palestinian flags and signs reading Save Gaza's children and chanting Free, free Palestine, according to the Tribune.

On the west coast, hundreds of demonstrators, including Jewish groups, marched in the streets of San Francisco to protest Israel's war in Gaza on Sunday, according to several San Francisco news outlets. In Los Angeles, hundreds of protesters who marched to the Israeli consulate in the western part of the city forced the closing of the westbound lanes of Wilshire Boulevard, local station 89.3 KPCC reported.

Jewish marchers in support of Gaza in San Francisco included individuals as well as the group Jewish Voice for Peace, which last week staged a "die-in" at Hewlett-Packard headquarters in the Bay Area to protest the company's, which "provides all PCs used by the Israeli military," according to the group.

The protest Sunday, organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, also included groups such as South Asians Against the War, a coalition of South Asian community groups, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Chronicle noted that Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco held a pro-Israel rally at the same time, but Jewish community members like Judith Berlowitz, attended the pro-Palestinian rally.

"We're saying not in our name," the Chronicle quoted Berlowitz, a member of the predominantly Jewish-feminist Bay Area Women in Black, as saying. "The sides are not equal. No occupation, no Hamas."

Both protests in California included chants of "Free Palestine" and calls to stop "Israeli genocide."

The protest in Los Angeles unwittingly coincided with the killing of Israeli soldier Max Steinberg, who grew up in the neighborhood of Woodland Hills and moved to Israel in 2012.

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