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Rally in Wolfville, N.S., amplifies national protest calling for ceasefire in Gaza

Wolfville, N.S., became the stage for a local rally on Sunday, echoing nationwide protests calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Organizers set up events in more than 50 locations across the country, including a number of Maritime towns and cities.

“Horrific videos that we see on social media every day – it’s really heartbreaking to watch, and the least we could do is go to a rally calling for a ceasefire and call for what’s right and boycott products that support this genocide,” said Wolfville protestor Yanal Bashayreh.

One of the speakers at the rally, Joe Rafih, said government needs to echo the calls of a ceasefire.

“I see our government as complicit. They’re not speaking, they’re afraid,” he said.

Among those calling for a ceasefire is Alaa Aljermi, whose family is experiencing the conflict first-hand.

“Israeli bombs have fallen on my extended family’s home. I have a lot of relatives who were living in that house. A lot of them have been killed with Israeli bombs. A lot of them have been injured and whoever survived, survived with pain,” said Aljermi.

At the protest, an emotional moment occurred when a Palestinian woman and Jewish person embraced, transcending cultural boundaries in a shared plea for peace.

“As Jews, we have to say ‘not in our name’ and not let our grief be weaponized to carry out these atrocities,” said Jennifer Crawford.

A rally in Wolfville, N.S., on Nov. 12, 2023 echoed nationwide protests calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. (Hafsa Arif/CTV Atlantic)

Sunday marked 36 days of relentless bombardment in Gaza following the initial Hamas attack.

More than 11,000 Palestinians have died -- two-thirds of them women and minors.

At least 1,200 people have been killed on the Israeli side -- mostly civilians killed in the initial attack.

While there are calls for ceasefire and peace, some in the Jewish community do not believe a ceasefire is a feasible solution right now.

“Hamas is a terrorist organization, designated as such by the Canadian government in 2002, and they’ve shown over and over again in previous rounds of this with Israel that they don’t adhere to rules of international law,” said Mark David, president of the Atlantic Jewish Council. “The hostages need to be returned safely and we hope that either Hamas will surrender – which I don’t think they will ever do, but we hope that Hamas will be eliminated a military threat.”

However, others in the Jewish community say enough is enough.

“I don’t think the fact that 10,000 civilians have been killed in the latest struggle, compared to 1,400 Israelis is correct -- I don’t think anybody should be killed, and that’s why I’m calling for a ceasefire,” said Judy Haiven, a former professor and member of the Independent Jewish Voices Canada. Top Stories

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