Interfaith Gathering for Peace

October 17, 2000

Source: The Seattle Times

On October 17, 2000, The Seattle Times reported that as "spasms of deadly violence between Arabs and Jews continued, Jews and Muslims yesterday gathered at separate Seattle-area rallies to voice their support for friends and relatives in the Middle East, and for an end to the fighting. 'God empowers us with peace,' said Rabbi Yechezkel Kornfeld of Congregation Shevet Achim on Mercer Island. 'We must then take that empowerment and actualize it.' About 1,500 people attended the packed Mercer Island service, held at the Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation. Organizers said the rally was to show Seattle Jews' solidarity with Israel. Earlier, at Seattle's Westlake Plaza, about 40 Palestine supporters silently gathered, carrying signs like 'Peace Yes, Murder No!' and 'Stop U.S. Aid for the Israel Occupation.' The crowd came together around 100 candles that had been lighted to remember the Palestinians killed in the recent clashes. About 100 people have died since Sept. 28, the overwhelming majority of them Palestinians. At the Mercer Island service, three rabbis of different denominations - Reform, Conservative and Orthodox - spoke in an effort to show that Puget Sound-area Jews' support extends across their religious practices. 'We all come together to show a common concern, to show solidarity to the people of Israel,' said Chuck Broches of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, which coordinated the event. 'We're trying to reach across the spectrum.'"