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Protesters Target Israel’s Role in Gaza Conflict

As the bloodshed continues in Gaza, there is now a verbal battle heating up thousands of miles away in downtown Santa Barbara.

A handful of people from Jewish Voice For Peace protested the violence and more specifically Israel’s role in the conflict. They gathered outside the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara Friday morning.

“I’m out here today because people are being massacred in the streets of Gaza,” protester Noelle Clearwater said.

Others like Santa Ynez resident Phil Bunn feel the same way.

“The collective slaughter of innocent people, particularly the attack last night United Nations sanctuary for women and children shocks my conscience,” Bunn said.

While protesters held signs and voiced their opinion, the executive director of the Jewish Federation Michael Rassler said the protesters were wildly misinformed about the conflict in the middle east.

“The folks out here today are kind of the lunatic fringe, the far left extremists that we often don’t hear about,” Rassler said. “They don’t know the history, they don’t know the fact.”

Protest organizer Rand Clark with Jewish Voice for Peace says many of the men and women picketing are Jewish and that main-line Jewish organization don’t represent all Jewish people.

“My attitude and I think a lot of the Jewish people here is ‘we basically say not in our name,'” he said.

Santa Barbara police were on the scene but the protests were peaceful.

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