America should take immediate steps to end Israel’s "illegal and immoral” offensive against the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers, the executive director of the Oklahoma City chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Monday. "We as Oklahomans and as Americans should be concerned about this conflict because our taxes are going towards Israel,” Razi Hashmi said. "We should not allow our government to give Israel a blank check to allow the destruction of hopes for peace in the Middle East.” More than 200 mostly Islamic Americans demonstrated peacefully Monday outside the state Capitol asking state and national leaders to press Israel for a cease-fire. People walked in a circle during the noon hour by the south steps of the Capitol holding signs and chanting "Stop the killing, free, free Gaza!” and "Free, free Palestine; occupation is a crime!” Michael Barlow, past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City, watched quietly. "War is unfortunate, but the question is: What is Israel to do, with scores of missiles being shot into Israeli population centers daily?” he said. "How long do you allow missiles to be shot into your country from another country?” Hamas, whose charter specifically calls for the destruction of the state of Israel, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States. Hashmi said as an American citizen he agrees with the U.S. description of Hamas. Barlow said it is difficult for Israel to negotiate with Hamas leaders when they do not recognize its right to exist. At least one Jewish member participated in Monday’s demonstration. Jillian Holzbauer of Stillwater carried a sign saying, "This Jew supports peace in Palestine.” Holzbauer, a student at Oklahoma State University, said she spent the past three summers in the West Bank working with Holy Land Trust, a Palestinian nonprofit group. "I saw that this isn’t really a religious issue, this is an issue about people who are living under military occupation for 40 years and they’re in a very desperate situation,” she said. The Rev. Kristen Brown, a United Methodist minister assigned to the campus of Southwest Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, said she attended the event to bring awareness about the Palestinians’ plight.