Hundreds gather at vigil in La Jolla to pray for Israel


On the eve of a cease-fire at the Israel-Gaza border, meant to end eight days of rocket and warplane attacks that resulted in nearly 150 deaths, hundreds of Christians and Jews attended a vigil at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Prospect Street to pray for peace in Israel and the region.

The Nov. 20 vigil, which included prayer, music and speeches by several local pastors, was organized by the San Diego chapter of Stand With Us, a nonprofit Israel advocacy organization with chapters around the world.

The event, predominantly attended by Christians, was billed as “an open call for people of faith to pray for peace in Israel and an end to the violence.”

“Thank you for standing up when it counts, not when it’s easy or popular, but when it’s difficult and sometimes even dangerous,” Stand With Us Regional Director Audrey Jacobs told those in attendance.

Among the speakers was Israel Deputy Consul General Dr. Uri Resnick, who spoke of the unending conflagration.

“We’ve had years upon years of missile attacks,” Resnick said. “At some point when you look your children and family members in the eye ... you have to say enough is enough.”

Harkening back to Israel’s 2005 unilateral disengagement plan, in which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called for resettling all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank, Resnick said the proposal had largely failed to bring about peace with Palestinians in Gaza.

“Since the withdraw in 2005, thousands upon thousands of rockets have been smuggled into Gaza and many thousands have landed on Israel,” he said, noting that many of the rockets were supplied by Iranian sympathizers.

“There’s a lot of feverish diplomatic work going on now, as we speak, to try and find a long-term solution to this problem,” he said.

--Staff Reports