SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - In the wake this weekend’s deadly attack by Hamas militants on Israel, hundreds from Bay Area's Jewish community rallied for a second day in San Francisco. The demonstration, which was co-organized by the Israeli American Council, included a large number of people with family from Israel.
"We are standing with Israel, and we are standing strong," said rally co-organizer, Rabbi Shimon Margolin, executive director of the Russian Speaking Jewish Community of SF.
Margolin, who maintained his composure on stage, grew emotional reflecting on family and friends now caught up in the conflict.
"My cousins and my nephews escaped war in Ukraine to come to Israel to seek shelter, and now they have to go through this again," said Margolin.
Demonstrators also reflected on the innocent lives lost on both sides of the conflict, and those who are now being held hostage by Hamas.
"There are holocaust survivors taken hostage into Gaza and being abused, so our message is to the community of San Francisco, our message is to the world, this should not be tolerated," said Margolin.
"It’s just absolutely devastating. It’s really Hamas versus Israel, and unfortunately so many civilians on the Palestinian side and the Israeli side are caught in the middle," said Danielle, a San Francisco native with family in Israel.
"We are standing against Hamas, and we want people to realize first and foremost that Hamas is the biggest enemy of Palestinian people," added Margolin.
Meantime, Israeli Dan Even, who now calls San Francisco home, said the images coming out of the conflict have been too hard to look at.
"I still cannot believe it," said Even.
Even, among many in the crowd, who expressed gratitude Monday for the support coming from the Bay Area and the U.S. government.
"Like America always does," added Even. "It still warms your heart that people care."