(Toledo, OH) Approximately 100 Toledoans gathered on the corner of Talmadge and Sylvania to express their desire for peace in Lebanon and Palestine.
Many of the vehicles passing honked horns and waved. I did not see any counter-protesters at the rally, which took place during a heat index of 100 degrees.
Most of the protesters carried signs calling for peace, or for the US to take a more active role in brokering a cease-fire. There were a few more pointed placards that referred to Israel as a terrorist state.
I only saw one media outlet (WTVG-13) at the rally, although others may have arrived and left by the time I visited. It will be interesting to see if the local media covers this event with a comparable amount of attention as was given the rally at the Jewish Community Council last Monday.
The military campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, begun 17 days ago, has resulted in the deaths of over 400 civilians and billions of dollars worth of damage to roads, power plants, bridges, and airports. Approximately 130 Palestinian civilians have been killed in the concurrent military offensive in the territories of Palestine.
The US continues to refrain from endorsing any cease-fire deal that does not include the de-arming of Hezbollah and other preconditions, what US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice called an "urgent, but enduring" Middle East ceasefire.
Israel, however, today suggested for the first time that it might accept a cease-fire without an immediate disarming of Hezbollah, which may prove to be a major breakthrough.