Prayers and protests in San Francisco over terror attacks on Israel

Members of the local Jewish community are praying for peace after what the White House described as terrorist attacks in Israel.

Hundreds of Jewish faithful filled the pews of Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco Sunday.

"There are those of you in this room who have lost family and friends and are making difficult phone calls back to Israel," Tye Gregory from the Israeli-American Council said to the congregation. "Our hearts go out to you."

House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi joined the congregation in prayer to show Washington’s bipartisan support of Israel.

"This assault on these children, on these grandmoms, on these families, is something that takes us to a different threshold of how we deal with this subject," Pelosi said.

The U.S. is deploying ships to build up its military presence closer to Israel.`

"Diplomatically, militarily, in every way, we stand with Israel," Pelosi announced.

But for Sharif Zakout, lead organizer of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center in the Mission District, rallied Sunday to defend the Palestinian people, a fight that for him is personal.


"In Gaza, my family has been struggling to survive there, and it's so many mixed feelings when we see outbursts of violence," said Zakout.

Zakout believes racism is a side effect of the conflict, something he has encountered firsthand, ever since 9/11.

"People who would spit on me, people who call me terrorist," Zakout recalled.

His life experience would shape him into one of the organizers of Sunday’s protest outside the Israeli consulate in the Financial District.

Demonstrators called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel.

"This is over 75 years of brutal occupation, over 15 years of siege on Gaza and really, we should question why we’re aligning ourselves with a state that continues apartheid practices."

Zakout pointed out that he condemns violence against civilians.