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Christian group holds pro-Israel rally in downtown Montreal

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On day nine of the Israel-Hamas war, about 50 people gathered in downtown Montreal to voice their support for Israel and the Jewish community.

Attendees waved the Israel flags and danced to worship music near Place du Canada. Many in the crowd were with the group Christian Coalition for Israel, which arranged the event.

Speaking to CTV News at the demonstration, organizer Dr. Paul Saba said the goal is to show solidarity with the Jewish community.

"Not to speak is to speak, which means that if we remain silent, we are an accomplice to the horrendous acts that are going on," he said.

Pastor Adam Quito, who attended the rally, said he wants "Jewish people to know that we are their brothers, we stand with them."

For participants like Marty Shoub, the demonstration, while exuberant, was marked with deep sadness.

"This morning a dear friend of mine sent me pictures of his niece's funeral," he said.

Watching the conflict from Canada hits close to home for Shoub. He lived in Israel in 2006 during the war with Hazbollah, and says it was a small taste of what people must be feeling now.

"Some of my neighbours were killed, the whole country was in grief, shock and bewilderment," he said. "So I know that feeling."

People attend a Pro-Israel demonstration organized by the Christian Coalition for Israel in downtown Montreal on Oct. 15, 2023. (CTV News/Kelly Greig)

Dr. Saba called on Canada to play a peacemaker role in the conflict.

"I think we should be brokers of peace, I think we should be providing humanitarian aid on both sides," he said.

A small group of Palestine supporters showed up across the street to counter-protest, and a car drove by waving the Palestine flag.

Sunday's event followed two days of Pro-Palestine protests in Montreal, in which thousands of demonstrators marched in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

A total of five Canadian casualties in the Israel-Hamas war have been confirmed so far, and three others are considered missing. 

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