By Cindy Swirko
Israel is the only democracy in the Mideast and the region's only long-term, consistent ally of the U.S. — a message that was the dominant theme of Sunday's rally for Israel in Gainesville.
The event culminated Israel Awareness Week at the University of Florida and drew an estimated 500 students and other participants from around the state. Among them was Miki Arbel, Israel's consul general for Florida.
"I want people to support Israel unconditionally, but I also want people to understand why they should support Israel — it is the only democratic state in the Middle East and is an example and model for all the countries around us," Arbel said. "Having a strong, democratic Israel is very important to all of us and we should support it. I want students to feel that Jewish people are one, whether they are in the United States, Israel or Europe. We are one."
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