Demonstration in Washington DC (Photo: Yoni Kresh)

Tens of thousands arrive in Washington DC to support Israel, decry antisemitism

Tens of thousands of Jews and pro-Israel activists continue to arrive in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for a mass pro-Israel rally featuring senior Israeli and American officials that aims to bolster support for Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, as well as the fight against antisemitism in the United States and beyond.

Buses and flights organized by Jewish schools, community centers, synagogues and other organizations brought groups to the rally from across the country. Tuesday’s rally aims to demonstrate broad support for Israel’s war effort and to call for the release of the hostages, in addition to condemning antisemitism.

The rally’s organizers — the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — applied for a permit for 60,000 people, but at the start of the rally said there were 200,000 present, as tallied by the metal detectors at the entrance to the National Mall. An additional 70,000 are watching the livestream.

Earlier on Tuesday, dozens of U.S. Congress members from both political parties convened at the House of Representatives Old House Office Building in Washington to watch footage of the Hamas massacre on October 7 collected by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Some 150 members of Congress came to the screening and, according to those present, they left upset, including usually opponents of Israel such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Speakers at the rally on the National Mall, include Speaker of the US House of Representatives Mike Johnson, a Republican, as well as Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, and Republican Sen. Joni Ernst. Other members of Congress and the Senate are also scheduled to speak, as is Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the State Department’s antisemitism envoy..

Israeli President Isaac Herzog will also speak via video-link from the Western Wall, as will Israeli Ambassador Mike Herzog, his brother. No members of Israel’s right-wing government, which has been deeply unpopular within Israel since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, are scheduled to speak.

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