A fortnight ago in Washington, D.C., one of the largest gatherings of American Jews in history occurred. Nearly 300,000 people from all walks of life stood in solidarity with Israel in its war against Hamas terrorists.
The National Mall was peaceful and bipartisan, with no damage or security issues.
The March for Israel stands in stark contrast to many anti-war, anti-GOP, and anti-statue rallies in recent years. It contrasts with the anti-Netanyahu raucous protests in Israel. More than anything, however, was the difference between it and pro-Palestinian Arab demonstrations that have erupted since Hamas’s unprovoked Oct. 7 slaughter of 1,400 Israelis and others.
Pro-Palestinian/Hamas riots around the globe frequently involve calls for genocide, assaults, hooligans harassing holiday shoppers, and desecration of historic property, including American flags. They are chaotic and venomous and often require a major response from police departments.
Contrarily, the March for Israel’s aims were to support the Jewish State’s efforts to eradicate Islamist terrorism, demand the release of hostages kidnapped from Israel, and stand against the wave of antisemitism that has swept across the West since the war erupted.
There were tears, laughter and singing. Israeli flags were proudly waved, flanked by American flags with clear chants of “USA! USA! USA!” There were no calls for genocide and no violence.
On a perfect late autumn day, the March for Israel probably was the most orderly large-scale political rally this side of the annual March for Life. Even the Thanksgiving Parade was desecrated by pro-Hamas demonstrators this year.
At pro-Palestinian rallies, it is commonplace to hear demonstrators clamor for the extermination of Israel, including Nazi-like “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Jihad supporters, however, who spew such hatred are triggered by the most innocuous statements.
Anti-Israel media paid particular attention to House Speaker Mike Johnson declaring, “The calls for a cease-fire are outrageous,” prompting attendees to erupt in “No cease-fire!” chants.
The pro-death cult claims Johnson seeks to kill Palestinian civilians, but this is a pathetic distortion of his remarks and the reaction. The pro-Israel crowd was cheering the refusal to surrender and abandon the hostages taken by Hamas. The crowd was cheering Israel’s resolve to defeat Hamas. A cease-fire was in place Oct. 6. Hamas broke it the next day.
The peaceful nature of the rally is likely why the odious Washington Post declined to bury the story the following day.
The Post’s Nov. 15 above-the-fold front page mentions Israeli forces overtaking a hospital in Gaza. The front page mentions the House passing a stopgap funding measure. Below the fold is a story about erstwhile Trump allies criticizing the former President’s actions following the 2020 election. There’s even a section about a bookstore owner.
At the very bottom left-hand corner, under the “In the news” heading, a line reads, “March for Israel: Thousands gathered on the National Mall to express solidarity, condemn antisemitism, and demand the release of hostages who were taken by Hamas.”
Not eventful enough?
On cue, a pro-Palestinian Arab event held nearby the following day turned violent as hundreds of protesters clashed with law enforcement. Mobs blocked entrances and exits to the DNC headquarters, denying several congressmen ingress and egress. The zealots rebuffed directives to retreat, prompting police to intervene, and confrontations ensued. Six officers were treated for injuries suffered during the altercations, and a “protester” was arrested for assaulting a law enforcement official.
One House Democrat said the scenes were scarier than the Jan. 6 Capital assault. He assuredly couldn’t say that about the March for Israel.
Ari J. Kaufman is the managing editor of the Tri-Cities Business Journal. He’s written for several newspapers, is the author of three books, is a frequent guest on radio programs, and contributes to Israel National News and The Lid.