Solidarity rally planned for Sunday at Israeli Consulate General's office

Supporters of Israel are planning to attend a solidarity rally Sunday afternoon as a political firestorm continues one week after the seizure of a humanitarian aid ship led to a deadly confrontation between pipe-wielding passengers and Israeli commandos.

The Consulate General said in a news release that it is joining with the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other community partners "as we show Israel that she has friends across the globe.''

The 2 p.m. rally will be held in front of the Israeli Consulate General's office on Wilshire Boulevard west of La Cienega Boulevard, just east of Beverly Hills. Wilshire will be closed for the event.

The consulate said it has invited Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to attend, but is awaiting confirmation from him. It says invitations have been accepted by actor Jon Voight and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman, two staunch supporters of conservative U.S. politics.

Two Republican primary election seekers, gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner and U.S. Senate hopeful Chuck Devore, will also attend, the consulate said. Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman of Van Nuys is also on the guest list.

"The Israel Solidarity Rally is an opportunity for Los Angeles and its communities of Jewish groups, synagogues, churches, pro-Israeli organizations, political figures and citizens to come together and show their support for the State of Israel,'' the consul said in a news release.

Last weekend, supporters of humanitarian relief for Gaza Strip residents held a demonstration at the same location, protesting the seizure of supplies and deadly confrontation on the high seas of the eastern Mediterranean Ocean.

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