CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- As the fight between Israel and Palestine continues to wage on in the Middle East, tensions are rising here in the Lowcountry.
Now, some South Carolina lawmakers are picking sides.
Senator Lindsey Graham visited Chabad of Charleston to stand in solidarity with pro Israel groups. As he addressed the overflowing crowd, he asked the entire state of South Carolina to do the same.
“If you believe in freedom, stand with Israel. If you believe in religious tolerance, stand with Israel. If you believe America should be good allies stand with Israel,” says Graham.
He says he is working in Washington to send more money and aid to Israel.
“We pledge our undying faithful support to the people of Israel and whatever they need we can provide,” he says.
At the same time, many local activists, specifically those pro-Palestine, are saying they do not want their tax dollars to be used on violence.
“We want peace for everyone. And at 3 billion dollars that America gives in military aid and then another 5 billion in loan guarantees and all the other aid that we give, I think it’s pretty ridiculous because we could be spending that money here,” says pro-Palestine activist Merrill Chapman.
Chapman says she understands why these groups are struggling to find common ground. At the same time, she is hoping to find peaceful compromise during this divisive time.
“It’s really hard to come together when people have different points of views — I mean this has been going on for centuries. But, it is time for us as Charlestonians because we’ve seen what happens if we don’t. The hate that happens in our own backyard — and we don’t want that to happen again,” she says.
This is a developing story. News 2 will provide updates as this conflict progresses.