Pro-Israel protesters attend ‘March for Israel’ on National Mall to denounce antisemitism

Photo by Mustang Joe on Flickr / CC0 1.0

Thousands of pro-Israel protesters gathered in Washington, D.C., to attend a “March for Israel” demonstration on the National Mall, as law enforcement tightened security with road closures and restricted access to the Capitol on Tuesday.

Billed as “Americans March for Israel, March to Free Hostages, March Against Anti-Semitism,” the First Amendment demonstration event began at 1 p.m. EST Tuesday. Jewish Federations of North America’s Eric Fingerhut and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, William Daroff, helped organize the march with a clear call for Americans to stand with Israel to combat antisemitism and free the hostages.

Addressing the crowd, Daroff said: ”We have indeed made history today, with over 290,000 people gathered on this National Mall, and over 250,000 watching via livestream and on CSPAN, this is the largest pro-Israel gathering in history. Look at what we can do in just over a week!”

”We stand here together on the National Mall, proudly, to declare our unity in the face of the most dangerous threat to the Jewish people since the Holocaust—the need to defeat the murderous, barbarous Hamas army that has already tortured and murdered thousands of Jews and will continue on this path if not stopped,” Fingerhut added.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke remotely from Jerusalem during the event. He called for unity “to march for the babies, the boys and girls, women and men viciously held hostage by Hamas; to march for the right of every Jew to live proudly and safely in America, in Israel and all around the world.” Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Mike Johnson also attended the demonstration and addressed the crowd in a speech.

At the same time, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project reported that the number of pro-Palestine demonstrations has spiked to surpass pro-Israel demonstrations by approximately 50% since Israel imposed a “total blockade” of Gaza on October 12.