Dozens of students, activists and organizers huddled outside of Newark City Hall on Sunday to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas War and to protest additional funding for Israel.
The rally was organized by the New Jersey branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. It was endorsed by the Palestinian Youth Movement, Rutgers—Newark Students for Justice in Palestine, American Muslims for Palestine New Jersey (AMP New Jersey) and the Newark Water Coalition.
"Why is it upon us to pay our taxes to help Israel when they have free health care and we can't?," Duaa Abdallah of AMP New Jersey said at the rally. "Why is it upon us to fund a terrorist state?"
Several other protesters also voiced concern about taxpayer money being used to fund the Israel-Hamas War. The U.S. committed $3.18 billion to Israel last year, and the House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill this week that would give an additional $14.3 billion to Israel.
Speakers at the rally said that those funds should go toward social services such as health care and education in the U.S.
Approximately a dozen people from different organizations, locations and religious groups spoke out. Some Palestinians talked about their family in Gaza and the injustices they have faced in the U.S., and some Jewish speakers gave their perspectives on the war as well.
"We're not against Jews were against their occupation. It's not a religious conflict. It's a conflict against evil that's occupying that has no justice, no justification for its existence," said Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta Jews Against Zionism.
To gain awareness, protesters marched and chanted through the streets of Newark from City Hall on Broad Street to Sen. Cory Booker's (D-N.J.) office at One Gateway Center.
The rally ended after protesters marched back to Newark City Hall. Information about the next "Stand With Palestine" rally on Saturday in Washington, D.C was given to attendees.