Thousands Rally Against Israel Outside the White House
Thousands of protesters, many wrapped in Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flags, rallied outside the White House on Saturday to call for peace and an end to the fighting in Gaza, AFP reported.
The crowd, young and old from across the United States, including scores of children on parents' shoulders, chanted "End U.S. Aid to Israel" and "Israel out of Palestine."
"Gaza will not die -- it will never die," said one of the protesters, Amar Jamal, as he marched through downtown Washington.
"It is the time to make peace because this bloodbath will not stop in Gaza. All the Middle East will be in trouble" if the conflict doesn't end, warned the Palestinian-born 70-year-old.
Many of the protesters voiced anger at Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after he vowed to keep up his military campaign against Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas for as long and as forcefully as needed.
One protester waved a banner that read "Netanyahu and Hitler are the same, the only difference is the name."
Others demanded that Washington end its military backing of Israel and take its ally to task over the conflict.
Shereen Abdel-Nabi, holding her young son who was wearing a "Jesus is Palestinian" T-shirt, said the "U.S. should stop military aid to Israel and use stronger words in condemning its action."
"I really think this is a turning point ... it's an issue of humanity. The U.S. government is proving to be on the wrong side of history on this one," the 34-year-old added.
CNN reported that a small group of Jews held a counter-demonstration that led to a minor scuffle.
Organizers claimed that as many as 50,000 people participated in the afternoon rally.
Police did not immediately respond to requests for official estimates.
Throughout the operation in Gaza, there have been anti-Israel protests throughout the world, especially in Europe where these protests sometimes turned violent.
In Berlin, footage of one such protest showed hundreds of demonstrators chanting in German, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight on your own”.
There have also been several pro-Israel protests, such as in Manhattan, where a group of New Yorkers gathered on July 20 for a spontaneous demonstration in support of Israel.
Thousands of people came by to express support for the Jewish state amid its military operation against Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.
Last Thursday, several thousand people attended a pro-Israel rally in Paris, waving signs with slogans like "Gaza hostage of Hamas" and "We protest for peace."