A crowd of more than 1,500 rallied Sunday on behalf of Israel at the Colorado state capitol, calling on Americans to support the Jewish state’s ability to defend itself in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.
The rally was sponsored by Americans Against Terrorism and featured more than a dozen elected officials, Jewish and Christian religious leaders, and local radio personalities, several of whom drew cheers for declaring, “Let Israel win!”
Rep. Mike Coffman, Colorado Republican, said that being a supporter of Israel “means that I will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in the recognition that Hamas is a terrorist state and that Israel should never negotiate with terrorists.”
“Being a supporter of Israel in Congress means that I will fight those who believe that Israel should return to its ‘67 borders,” said Mr. Coffman. “Only Israel can determine what borders it needs for its own security and the United States should never dictate to Israel what its security requirements are.”
Across the street, about 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted slogans, played drums and waved signs such as “Israel is a Terrorist State” and “Stop Bombing Palestine.”
Officers with the Denver police and state patrol monitored the demonstrations and directed foot traffic away from the counter-rally.
Hosting the pro-Israel event was former Denver prosecutor and KNUS-AM talk show personality Craig Silverman, who said terrorist groups like al Qaeda, the Taliban and Hamas “are all the same” in that “they hate us because we’re Americans.”
“They hate Israelis, they hate Jews, they hate Christians and agnostics, and anybody who will not submit to them,” said Mr. Silverman. “We will not submit. Hamas and Islamic jihad must not win in Gaza or anywhere.”
Dan Caplis, talk show host on KNUS-AM, cited a popular mortgage company’s ad in saying that backing Israel is “the biggest no-brainer in the history of Earth.”
“The truth of this situation is that the only thing worse than a Holocaust denier is a Holocaust enabler,” said Mr. Caplis. “Let’s make sure the United States doesn’t continue to go down the path of being a Holocaust enabler.”
Other Republicans who spoke at the pro-Israel rally included former Rep. Bob Beauprez, the Republican nominee for governor; former Rep. Tom Tancredo and Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler.