Rep. Ritchie Torres
Rep. Ritchie TorresStan Weiss

Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) spoke at the student rally which was held at the National Mall in Washington DC ahead of the 'March for Israel' rally in support of the State of Israel and the Jewish State following the Hamas massacre of October 7 and the subsequent wave of antisemitism in the US.

"Today I'm here not only as a Bronxite, I'm not here only as a New Yorker. I'm here as an American to defend one of our greatest American values, the US-Israel relationship," Rep. Torres told the crowd. "The US-Israel relationship is not just a Democratic or Republican value, it's not just a progressive or conservative value, it is an American value encoded in our national DNA."

"October 7 was a crime against the Jewish State, indeed against humanity, so barbaric that it cannot be ignored. It cannot go unpunished. Hamas must be brought to justice. Israel has a right to defend itself and America has a duty to stand with Israel in her struggle for survival and self-defense," he s aid."Israel must do to Hamas what the United States did to ISIS and Al Qaeda in the 21st century. We must do to Hamas what we did to the Nazis in the 20th century. We must rid the world of the terrorism and barbarism that was perpetrated against humanity and the Jewish people"

Torres rejected calls for a ceasefire that would allow Hamas to remain in power in Gaza and to build up its strength again after the October 7 massacre.

"We know that the narrative has shifted against Israel. Israel is the only country on Earth whose existence, whose legitimacy, whose right of self-defense is the target for both delegitimization and destruction," he said.

"No one expected the United States to enter into a ceasefire with the Empire of Japan when the 2,400 Americans were murdered in Pearl Harbor. No one expected the United States to enter into a ceasefire with Al Qaeda and the Taliban when 3,000 Americans were murdered on 9/11. And so those who insist that Israel should no longer defend itself are holding the Jewish State to a dangerous double standard that no other country, including the United States, would ever impose on itself," he noted.

"A ceasefire with a terrorist organization is not a peace agreement, it is a death sentence for Israelis," he continued. "Not everyone who's calling for a ceasefire wants Israel to cease to exist, but everyone who wants Israel to cease to exist is calling for a ceasefire," the Congressman declared.

Torres' remarks drew constant applause and cheers from the crowd throughout his speech.