Pro-Israel student groups march through Tempe campus to support ceasefire

Finance and economics sophomore Jared Hirschl (left) and finance and supply chain management sophomore Sam Levine wait at the stop light at Mill Avenue and 10th Street after departing the Student Hillel Center for the "Stand for Israel" march Wednesday. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

More than two dozen members of Hillel at ASU and Sun Devils for Israel marched Wednesday through the Tempe campus to show support for the place they consider their second home.

Sun Devils for Israel Vice President Sara Macias said the march’s goal was to celebrate the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza.

“We wanted to make it clear that as American Jews, we support Israel, we love Israel and we want to see sustained peace,” she said.

Macias, a journalism senior, said many members of the two groups had family and friends living in Israel and sustained peace is the only way to guarantee their safety.

“Almost everyone in these groups has personally visited Israel at least once, and we wish to see it secure and preserved,” Macias said.

Hillel director Rabbi Barton Lee said his daughter is serving in the Israeli Defense Force, and he prays for her safety.

“Peace is possible,” Lee said. “We are marching for all of our loved ones and those serving selflessly in the Israeli Defense. Obviously, we don’t want them to be put in harm’s way.”

The marchers set out from the Hillel house on South Mill Avenue Wednesday afternoon and marched through the Tempe campus with signs baring pro-Israel slogans.

When the procession reached parts of the campus heavily populated by students, the participants chanted and sang about their wish for peace.

Participants wore blue and white, representing the Israeli flag.

Sun Devils for Israel marketing director Dana Richman, a marketing junior, said the march is not meant to be a political statement.

“Israel is our second home, and we worry about its safety,” Richman said. “However, we are not directly advocating one side or the other so much as we advocate for the fighting to stay halted in general.”

Arts administration senior and Sun Devils for Israel member Lindsay Simon said the march was an effective method for countering anti-Israel imagery.

“It’s is a very touchy subject,” Simon said.

Students for Justice in Palestine president Aman Aberra, a biomedical engineering sophomore, said despite claims by supporters of Israel that the nation wants peace, peace cannot exist without justice. He said this peace is lacking in that country.

“We agree that peace must be reached,” Aberra said. “However, for that to happen, the structural violence of the occupation must end.”


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