SAN DIEGO – A crowd of pro-Palestinian demonstrators held a rally in downtown San Diego on Tuesday to call for justice in the Middle East and to protest the flow of U.S. military aid to Israel.
The effort by the San Diego chapter of the Palestinian Youth Movement was one of several dozen like it in cities in the U.S. and Canada, the organization said. A similar rally was held by the group Saturday on the Day of al-Nakba, remembering the estimated 700,000 people who were expelled from or fled their homes during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.
Tuesday’s protest comes as the Biden administration has been conducting what it calls quiet diplomacy while declining to press for an immediate cease-fire by close ally Israel and Hamas, the Associated Press reported. But privately, Biden administration officials have encouraged the Israelis to wind down their bombardment of Gaza.
Officials have been told by the Israelis that the operations could conclude in a matter of days.
The White House has made the calculation that the Israelis will not respond to international resolutions or public demands by the U.S. and that the greatest leverage is behind-the-scenes pressure, officials said. At the same time, the White House is mindful that the longer the conflict goes, the greater chance of a very-high-casualty event or other provocative action by either side that could make reaching a cease-fire more difficult.
All the while, Hamas rockets and Israeli airstrikes continued for a ninth day. At least 213 Palestinians and 12 people in Israel have died.
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday challenged the Biden administration to show any results from what it is calling its quiet diplomacy to stop the new Israeli-Hamas battles, according to the AP.
Ambassador Riyad Mansour pointed to the U.S. repeatedly blocking a U.N. Security Council action on the conflict, and he urged the Biden administration to do more.
“If the Biden administration can exert all of their pressure to bring an end to the aggression against our people, nobody is going to stand in their way,” Mansour said.
France, in consultation with Egypt and Jordan, on Tuesday was preparing a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire, Zhang Jun, China’s U.N. ambassador, and other diplomats told reporters. The move to put the U.N.’s most powerful body behind a demand for Israel and Hamas to stop hostilities came after the U.S. repeatedly blocked what would have been a unanimous Security Council statement expressing concern about the fighting.
The White House has so far resisted the calls for ramping up public pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It has made the calculation that Israelis will not respond to international resolutions or public demands by the U.S. and that its greatest leverage is behind-the-scenes pressure, according to the person familiar with the administration’s discussions.
The person said that the Israelis have signaled that it is possible their military campaign could end in a matter of days.