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Here’s what you need to know about the pro-Israel rally in DC on Tuesday

Here’s what you need to know about the pro-Israel rally in DC on Tuesday

Thousands of people are expected to gather in Washington on Tuesday to show solidarity with Israel, express their determination to combat rising anti-Semitism and demand the release of hostages held by Hamas.

The rally, organized by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, comes amid a deepening war in Gaza. Although thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters recently marched in the country’s capital to demand a ceasefire, President Biden has supported Israel in its rejection of those demands.

“We hope that there will be a massive crowd that will engage on these issues and ensure that America knows where we stand,” said William Daroff, executive director of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Organizers anticipate 100,000 people will attend the event on the National Mall, according to a permit issued by the National Park Service. City officials also expect tens of thousands of people to attend the rally, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said at a news conference Monday. D.C. police requested assistance from the National Guard, which will be supporting some traffic safety points, Bowser said.

Biden quickly threw his support behind Israel after Hamas militants crossed Israel’s border on October 7, kidnapping about 240 people and killing 1,200 during the attack. Four hostages have been freed and Israel has said it rescued a soldier in an operation. Since then, more than 11,000 people have died in Gaza, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Harassment, vandalism and assaults against Jews increased nearly 400 percent in the weeks after the Hamas attack, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, which catalogs anti-Semitic, white supremacist and other hate-motivated incidents. and is promoting the march on its website. Oren Segal, vice president of the Center on Extremism, said this rise in anti-Semitism has also been seen in protests that include the “glorification, celebration or legitimization of Hamas’s brutal violence against Israelis and Jews.”

“One of the things that anti-Semitic incidents do is make people feel isolated, vulnerable, alone,” Segal said. “This [rally] It is not intended to be a counterweight to the hatred we have seen. “I think this is so that the Jewish community has the opportunity to thank people but also to grieve together.”

From boycotts to firebombs, Israel-Gaza war sparks wave of anti-Semitism

Tuesday’s event in Washington, called the “March for Israel,” will be an opportunity for rallygoers to condemn hate and show they are united behind the Jewish state. Here’s what you need to know about the protest.

When and where is the rally?

The demonstration on the National Mall, between Fourth and 12th streets, will begin at 1 pm and last until 3 pm. The area will open for protesters to arrive at 10 a.m., and organizers recommend that people give themselves time to go through security. There will also be a pre-event rally for students at 11:30 am. There is no march planned.

The main entrance to the rally will be on 12th Street NW between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW. There is also a designated area for people with accessibility needs with entrance at Sixth Street SW and Jefferson Drive SW.

A “peace bloc” made up of members of the “progressive Jewish community” plans to gather before the rally in front of the National Museum of American History on the National Mall, Maytal Kowalski, incoming executive director of Partners for Progressive Israel, wrote in. a message to the group’s mailing list.

“We debated intensely whether to join this demonstration,” Kowalski wrote, adding that members of the group will show up to “share our messages of peace, of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and to make clear that there is no military force.” . solution to this political and national conflict.”

Organizers said in the Park Service permit application that they expect “a significant security presence, significant ‘bike rack’ barriers around our permitted location, and other security features” to separate counterprotesters from rallygoers. manifestation.

“Tensions are obviously high as a result of the incursion into Israel by Hamas terrorists on October 7,” the organizers wrote in the permit application. “We will have a LOT of professional security hired for this event.”

The local chapter of the Palestinian Youth Movement posted a statement on Instagram discouraging its followers from participating in the March for Israel.

Rally organizers will also distribute Israeli and American flags to attendees, but specified that attendees are not allowed to bring flagpoles or wooden stakes.

Will there be street closures?

There will be street closures and parking restrictions in the area near the rally. More information can be found on the DC Police website.

People can also sign up for the AlertDC notification system for traffic and public safety updates by texting MARCHDC to 888-777.

What is the objective of the rally?

Those who demonstrate on Tuesday will emphasize the urgent need to free the hostages captured by Hamas more than a month ago.

Earlier this month, relatives of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas traveled to Washington to urge the international community to keep up the pressure and demand the release of their relatives. This demonstration also comes after thousands of people demonstrated in Washington on November 4, demanding a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Gaza and an end to US aid to Israel, in what appeared to be one of the greatest expressions of American solidarity with the Palestinian people to date.

“It’s been more than 30 days that parents have been without their children,” said Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America. “This battle against Hamas is essential not only for Israel, but also for the United States.”

Organizers said they will also express gratitude to Biden and U.S. lawmakers who have supported the Jewish state and urge them to continue supporting Israel.

Since the start of the war, the House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly to pass resolutions in support of Israel, and at least 18 senators and four House members have traveled to the Jewish state. The Biden administration has also asked Congress to approve $14 billion in emergency military assistance for Israel.

Israel is the largest beneficiary of American aid, having received approximately $150 billion in taxpayer assistance through 2022, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan agency.

Half of registered voters in the United States approve of Israel’s response to the October 7 attack, while 35 percent disapprove, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month. However, these opinions vary markedly by partisanship, race, and age, with approval lowest among Democrats (33 percent), voters ages 18 to 34 (32 percent), and black voters (29 percent). hundred).

At the same time, polls show, 51 percent of voters support the United States sending more military aid to Israel, and 71 percent of voters support providing humanitarian aid to help Palestinians in Gaza.

Who will speak at the rally?

Speakers will include family members of people taken hostage by Hamas, bipartisan congressional leaders, college students, actress Debra Messing, Broadway actress Tovah Feldshuh and Rochelle Ford, president of Dillard University, among others.

The organizers have not yet provided details about a possible live broadcast.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Israel-Gaza War

Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa, is “not functioning” after days without electricity, water or reliable internet, the World Health Organization said. Understand what is behind the war between Israel and Gaza.

Hostages: Authorities say Hamas militants kidnapped some 239 hostages in a highly organized attack. Four hostages have been freed (two Americans and two Israelis) as families cling to hope. A freed Israeli hostage recounted the “spiderweb” of the Gaza tunnels in which she was held.

Humanitarian aid: The Palestinian Red Crescent said it has received more than 370 trucks with food, medicine and water in the Gaza Strip through the Egyptian Rafah crossing. However, the PRCS said, there has not yet been permission to bring in fuel to power the enclave’s hospitals, water pumps, taxis and more.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip has a complicated history and its rulers have long been at odds with the Palestinian Authority, the US-backed government in the West Bank. Here is a timeline of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



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