Around 300,000 people have attended a rally in support of Israel in Washington, D.C. They turned the National Mall into a sea of blue and white as participants wore blue and waved Israeli flags to show they were standing with the Jewish state. “This is the largest pro-Israel gathering in history,” William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told the crowd.
Participants at the March For Israel sang songs with messages to stamp out hate, condemned anti-Semitism and called for the release of the 240 hostages taken by Hamas militants on October 7. The captives included dozens of Americans and other foreign nationals. Some of their families fought back tears to tell their stories. “My family is being held hostage by terrorists. I am here with you because I love my family and I promised I would scream to the ends of the earth for them, ” said Alana Zeitchik, the cousin of six hostages.
The pro-Israel rally followed weeks of pro-Palestinian protests that shut down streets in major cities and included outbursts of anti-Semitism on college campuses. Top congressional leaders reflected bipartisan support for Israel. They included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries who joined hands with Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.
“There are few issues in Washington that can so easily bring together leaders of both parties and both chambers, but the survival of Israel and her people unites us together,” proclaimed Congressman Johnson. Representative Jeffries said: “Congress will continue to support in a bipartisan way Israel and Israel’s unequivocal right to exist.” Senator Schumer told the crowd: “When Hamas says from the river to the sea, they mean all the present-day Israel should be a Jewish-free land. We stand with you, and we will not rest until you get all the assistance you need.”
The Biden administration’s special anti-Semitism envoy Deborah Lipstadt told the rally: “I can tell you without hesitation, regardless of party or political persuasion at the White House or in Congress at home, and abroad. This government stands shoulder to shoulder against Jew hatred. Today in America we give anti-Semitism no sanction, no foothold, no tolerance, not on campus, not in our schools, not in our neighbourhoods, not in our streets or the streets of our cities. Not in our government. Nowhere. not now, not ever,” Ms. Lipstadt declared to loud cheers.
Crowd members draped in the Israeli flag stood side by side with Christians. Among the many students at the rally was Miami high school senior Shoshana Wigoda. She told CBN News recent events had a real personal impact as she prepares to head to college. “We’re Jewish and we love Israel and it’s our home and that’s the only place we feel safe with all the anti-Semitism in the world,” she said.
A representative of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, Kelsey Olguin, who was at the rally, told The Christian Post that it’s “absolutely vital” that Christians stand with Israel and support the Jewish people, especially during the ongoing war.
“It’s a proclamation from the Lord Himself to bless the nation of Israel, and you’ll be blessed, And to comfort the people and to let them know that we love them, especially those of us who are believers in Jesus, who have given our lives to a Jewish Messiah, to honour everything that they’ve given us through the Word, through the prophets, through the promises that God made to them.
Meanwhile, US evangelist Franklin Graham has been to Israel to donate 21 ambulances from his humanitarian charity Samaritan’s Purse. Seven of the ambulances are heavily armoured for the protection of paramedics and patients. He also held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and prayed for both him and his nation.
“It was a privilege to meet and pray with Israel’s Prime Minister today. This man needs our prayers. He is facing the most trying time since the birth of his nation,” Reverend Graham said. He told Mr. Netanyahu that he came to provide much-needed relief supplies for Israeli families “devastated by the Hamas invasion and massacre.” Worthy News reports he also met hostage families and toured the Gaza border, from where he also spoke with Christians and met Israeli Christian and Messianic Jewish leaders.
Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed, “We stand with those who stand for justice and truth, like Reverend Graham, our many Christian friends around the world, but also so many others. We saw that in the mass demonstration in Washington of Jewish leaders and non-Jewish leaders; leaders of the Senate; leaders of the House. They stood for Israel. They stood for truth. They stood for justice. That’s the forces of civilisation that will ultimately win the day.”
Photo: Facebook – AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee)