Peace rally in Appleton

Dozens of people rally for Middle East peace at Houdini Plaza in Appleton

APPLETON - The tension in the Middle East is being felt half way around the world.

Nearly 50 people rallied for peace at Houdini Plaza in Appleton Thursday morning.

"We have invited people from all faiths to come together and pray with us, and it's a message of peace," said Lubna Alam, Rally Organizer.

Young and old reflected on tension and violence in the Middle East. The conflict over territory in the region has divided Palestinian and Jewish people for centuries.

"You can't have peace until the bombs stop dropping out of the sky. When you use babies and women as human shields," said Ed Klug, Appleton Jewish Community.

"It wasn't an empty land. It was land occupied by Palestinians. Palestinians been expelled from their land," said Khaled Hussein, Palestinian.

But on this day, a plea for peace was in the air.

"I like to think the Gaza Strip is like the center ground, where there's a lot of animosity, a lot of fighting over that central area. But if maybe people could come to the center, and maybe get along, maybe learn a few things from each side, and try to be peaceful," said Tarina, Moslem-Convert.

As the rally continued, people of many faiths, many ethnic backgrounds may have found common ground in the middle of Appleton.

"This is not a softball. You got to stand up and say what's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong," said Tim Day, Appleton.

"We said we got to do something. Just our little part. I know it's not going to make a huge difference, but just you know, our little part in this," said Alam.

"Nobody has the answer to the conflict, but if you get together, my hope is that people realize that needs to change," said Klug.

"People of Palestine in general, and Gazans in particular, they have the right to live in peace, in harmony and dignity," said Hussein.

Organizers say they were surprised at the turnout and may plan another rally.