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Protesters are removed from the upper gallieries. Photo: Sen. Rick Brattin.

Pro-Gaza protesters disrupt Missouri legislature

Shouting “Cease-fire now,” protesters disrupted a joint session of the Missouri legislature while Israel Consul General-Miami Maor Elbaz-Starinsky spoke Tuesday.

At least 30 people in the upper galleries continued to scream as legislators responded with applause for the Israeli leader while Capitol Police removed the protesters. Additional demonstrators gathered outside the Capitol.

“Securing our nation has been a persistent challenge for Israel, marred by conflict, including the recent intense and gruesome war with Hamas,” Elbaz-Starinsky said.

Capitol Police official said one protester was arrested for staying in the gallery.

“Despite the difficult circumstances, Israel is committed to citizens who are actively pursuing peace,” he said. “Our soldiers are fighting for the entire free world.”

Others were present to support a legislative resolution in support of Israel and its right to exist. Polls show the majority of Americans support Israel’s efforts to destroy the terrorist group Hamas following its invasion of Israeli communities and the murder of 1,200 Israeli citizens. Hamas also took more than 260 people hostage and still holds more than 130 in captivity.

READ: 81-year-old woman escaped Hamas through window

“Our soldiers fight for the entire free world,” said Elbaz-Starinsky, who drove to Jefferson City to support Israel. “This is a war between evil and good.”

“Half of that body, they should have walked out when that guy got on the stage,” he remarked.

Daniel Swindell, of Columbia, also voiced her support for Israel.

“I believe Israel has a moral and legal right to defeat Hamas, so I support them in the war against Hamas,” Swindell told a local TV station.

Swindell advised Americans to continue backing Israel’s struggle against Hamas.

“I believe America should play a role.” I think everyone should contribute. I think Hamas affects everyone.”

Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher sponsored the resolution which praises Israel’s “cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with the United States of America and Missouri.” It declares the General Assembly supports Israel’s right to exist and recognizes Jerusalem as Missouri’s eternal Israel.

“Most importantly, Israel is the only democracy in an unstable, and often unfriendly region. Israel is a consistent long-term ally who shares our value and beliefs,” Brian Herstig, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, said. “They are reliable, transparent, and have been there for us.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice




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