[Fox News] ‘March for Israel’: Huge peaceful protest calls for release of hostages, end of antisemitism, Israeli victory

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Tens of thousands of protesters descended on Washington D.C. to peacefully stand in solidarity with Israel, call for Hamas to release the hostages and demand an end to rising antisemitism. 

The Jewish Federations of North America, a non-profit organization and the organizer for the rally, said that this was the largest pro-Israel gathering in U.S. history.

The group said that they estimated that there were 290,000 people and that another 250,000 watched online.

Tthe Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department declined to provide an official count.

TENS OF THOUSANDS ‘MARCH FOR ISRAEL’ IN WASHINGTON DC

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Eric D. Fingerhut, President and C.E.O., Jewish Federations of North America, said that, “Israel’s fight against Hamas is no different from America’s fight against Al-Qaeda and ISIS.”

“Israel must eliminate the terrorist threat on its border and restore safety and security to its people. Americans have rightly stood by Israel at this critical moment because Americans understand that Israel’s fight against Hamas is no different from America’s fight against Al-Qaeda and ISIS,” Fingerhut said. “As patriotic Americans, we will gather on the National Mall to ensure that the entire world knows that America supports the people of Israel in its time of need, that America demands the release of the remaining hostages, and that America categorically rejects antisemitism and hate in every form. This is a moment where all of us must stand against terror and defend what the terrorists seek to destroy.”

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According to organizers, the event was “an opportunity to come together in solidarity with the people of Israel, to demonstrate our commitment to America’s most important ally in the Middle East, to condemn the rising trend of antisemitic violence and harassment, and to demand that every hostage be immediately and safely released.”

Pictures and videos from the event showed tens of thousands of people gathering on the National Mall, holding American and Israeli flags.

Some of the people participating in the march held signs reading, “We Stand with Israel” and “There is no Proportional Response to Hamas.”

Others held posters of the 239 missing individuals who are hostages of Hamas and the nine U.S. citizens and one U.S. green card-holder who are believed to be in Hamas custody.

Jewish actress and activist Tovah Feldshuh spoke at the rally calling against global antisemitism

“We stand here together as the yard side candles for over 1,400 slaughtered in the sovereign state of Israel, only because they were Jews. Sound familiar?” Feldshuh said. “We stand here firm against global antisemitism. We stand here firm in confrontation of antisemitism here in these United States. We stand here to say ‘enough!’”

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Van Jones, a well-known lawyer and civil rights activist, called out the “explosion” of violence against Jewish people since the attack on Israel on October 7.

“Since Oct. 7, there has been, literally, an explosion of violence against Jewish people. Attacks against Jewish people. Horrific acts of violence against Jewish people,” Jones said. “The Jewish community stood with the Civil Rights movement and I cannot be silent when Jews are under attack today. That’s why I’m here today.”

At 2 p.m., congressional leaders took the stage with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Mike Johnson and the House Democratic leader, Hakeem Jeffries, and Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, joining hands. 

“We stand with Israel,” the group chanted.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog also addressed the crowd by video.

“Since Oct. 7, Israeli society and the Jewish people have truly come together in unison. We feel our hearts beat as one. We hear our brothers’ and sisters’ blood calling out to us from the ground,” Herzog said.

“Once again in Jewish history, we demand, let our people go!” he said, referencing Moses’ words in the Bible to the pharaoh who held ancient Israelis captive in Egypt.

The march comes in the wake of the Oct. 7 terror attacks where Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel and massacred more than 1,200 Israelis.

Following the unprecedented attack, Israel declared war on Hamas and has relentlessly bombed the Gaza Strip and sent ground forces into the Palestinian territory to eliminate the terrorist group and free the remaining 238 hostages taken in the initial attack.

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