Community members rally for peace in Palestine

Lexington, Ky. (WTVQ) – Currently in Palestine, two religious groups are at odds overseas.

As the fighting continues, members from both the Jewish and Palestinian community are working together to keep peace in Lexington.

Jenna Shalash is a born and raised Kentuckian whose family comes from Palestine.

Growing up she says she was no stranger to discrimination.

“I’ve experienced it here..In high school I’ve been called a terrorist I’ve had crumbles of paper written with the word bomb on it thrown at me. And it makes me saying I’m a proud American very difficult to say,” explains shalash.

Over this past year, people in Lexington have gotten involved when racial groups have been targeted around the country.

However, Shalash says this particular situation over in the Middle East is different.

“With George Floyd and Black Lives Matter and the Coronavirus we are experiencing it in our backyard. With the war that’s going on with Israel and Palestine, not everybody is educated about it,” explains Shalash.

That’s where advocates like her and Hannah Isa come in.

The girls along with other community members have recently held protests and rallies, spreading awareness for a topic that might seem tender for some.

“People think that because there’s so much tension around a situation that they can’t speak up and I felt the same way and then I realized that it’s important,” says Isa.

According to community members, they’re not alone in fighting against discrimination in Lexington.

Rabbi David Wirtschafter with Temple Adath Israel says it’s imperative the two groups work together.

“And that we unite as Jews and Palestinians as people with families in the region to put positive pressure and encourage the leaders on all sides of this conflict to get back to the pain stacking work of the piece process,” says Rabbi Wirtschafter.

This saturday, a protest and rally called “All out for Palestine” will kick off at Courthouse Plaza at 6pm.

Shalash says she’s encouraging anyone attending to bring posters, friends, and most importantly your voice so that innocent lives overseas can have theirs heard.

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