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Tens of thousands of supporters of Israel rally in Washington, crying ‘never again’

by Chloe Baker
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Pro-Israel Rally Washington

In Washington, a massive rally in support of Israel brought together an estimated tens of thousands of participants on the National Mall, amid heightened security. The gathering, named the “March for Israel,” served as a significant show of unity in backing Israel’s efforts against Hamas, particularly in light of the increasing scrutiny of Israel’s actions in Gaza following the violent Hamas incursion on October 7.

The event saw a bipartisan array of leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Mike Johnson, House Democratic leader Hakeem Jefferies, and Republican Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa, uniting on stage. Schumer led a chant, “We stand with Israel,” exemplifying the solidarity. However, this public display of unity masked a deeper divide within the Democratic Party regarding Israel’s policies and its treatment of Palestinians. President Biden has recently called for Israel to moderate its military actions to mitigate civilian casualties in Gaza, adjusting his initially strong support for Israel in the conflict’s early stages.

Keynote speakers condemned the Hamas attack and the rise of antisemitism worldwide. Israeli President Isaac Herzog, speaking via video, labeled the spread of antisemitism as a disgrace to civilized nations and societies. He emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “after the largest massacre since the Holocaust, let us call out together, never again.”

Senator Ernst highlighted the severity of Hamas’ actions, describing them as brutal and inhumane. The October 7 incursion by Hamas militants into Israel led to over 1,200 deaths and the taking of more than 200 hostages. In response, Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has resulted in over 11,000 Palestinian casualties, according to figures from the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

Rachel Goldberg, whose child was among those taken hostage by Hamas, expressed her anguish over the situation, pointing out the diverse backgrounds and ages of the hostages.

The Homeland Security Department, anticipating the event’s scale, designated the march as a “level 1” security event, typically reserved for significant events like the Super Bowl. This classification meant extensive federal law enforcement support was necessary. The FBI and Homeland Security issued a joint bulletin to local law enforcement, warning of potential violence linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict but clarified that no specific, immediate threats to the march were identified.

The demonstration was marked by a strong Israeli presence, with many participants donning Israeli flags or carrying them, while heavy security, including police and barriers, was evident throughout the area. Participants like Jackie Seley and Melanie Lubin expressed their hopes for the rally to foster solidarity with Israel and raise awareness about the ongoing hostage situation. Lubin, addressing concerns about the civilian toll in Gaza and Israel’s military tactics, stated that Israel is doing its best in a difficult wartime situation, reiterating that Israel did not initiate the conflict.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Pro-Israel Rally Washington

What was the purpose of the “March for Israel” rally in Washington?

The “March for Israel” rally was organized to show solidarity with Israel in its conflict against Hamas, particularly following the heightened scrutiny of Israel’s military actions in Gaza after the October 7 Hamas incursion.

Who were the prominent figures attending the “March for Israel” rally?

Key figures at the rally included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Mike Johnson, House Democratic leader Hakeem Jefferies, and Republican Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa. They demonstrated bipartisan support for Israel.

What was the stance of President Biden regarding Israel’s actions in Gaza?

President Joe Biden initially showed strong support for Israel in the early stages of the conflict. However, he has recently urged Israel to restrain some of its military tactics to reduce civilian suffering in Gaza.

How did the rally address the issue of antisemitism?

Speakers at the rally, including Israeli President Isaac Herzog, condemned the rise of antisemitism globally, with Herzog calling it “an embarrassment to all civilized people and nations.”

What security measures were taken for the “March for Israel” rally?

The Department of Homeland Security designated the rally as a “level 1” security event, requiring substantial federal law enforcement assistance. The FBI and Homeland Security also issued a joint bulletin warning of potential violence linked to the Israel-Hamas war.

More about Pro-Israel Rally Washington

  • Overview of the “March for Israel” in Washington
  • Bipartisan Leaders’ Support at the Israel Rally
  • President Biden’s Changing Stance on Israel-Gaza Conflict
  • Addressing Antisemitism at the Washington Rally
  • Security Preparations for the Washington Pro-Israel Rally

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