NEW YORK (JTA) — Members of Congress and thousands of Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations.

The Monday afternoon rally, organized by the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, was intended to show support for Israel as it battles Hamas. The rally on 47th Street in Manhattan was co-sponsored by Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jewish groups.

“There is one word to describe why there are so many innocent who have died: Hamas,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The event included speeches by Israeli diplomats, members of Congress and the heads of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Yeshiva University, as well as a performance by the Jewish a capella group The Maccabeats.

Israels UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said he hoped the voice of those present, the “sane” voice, would penetrate the nearby UN building. He stressed that Israel seeks peace, but that there could be no peace so long as Hamas is trying to murder its people.

A small pro-Palestinian counter-rally took place across the street from the pro-Israel rally.