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‘We Stand Together’: US Jewish Groups to Hold Major Pro-Israel Rally in Washington, DC on Tuesday

Pro-Israel rally in Times Square, New York City, US, Oct. 8, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

Tens of thousands of people are expected to participate in a “March for Israel” in Washington, DC on Tuesday to demand the release of hostages held captive by Hamas in Gaza and to show solidarity with both the Jewish state and the Jewish community amid a global surge in antisemitism that has followed the Palestinian terror group’s Oct 7. massacre across southern Israel.

Since last month’s terror onslaught, and amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, there has been a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents worldwide, especially across the US and Europe.

A report published by the Anti-Defamation League on Monday recorded 832 outrages targeting American Jews between Oct. 7 and Nov. 7 — an average of 28 incidents per day and a 316 percent increase on the same period in 2022. The majority of these incidents have been tied to the Hamas atrocities and protests over Israel’s military response to them.

Such a tense climate for the Jewish community has made necessary a mass demonstration showing unity among Jews — Orthodox and secular, conservative and progressive — “in these crazy times,” organizers of the march told The Algemeiner. 

“As antisemitism began increasing in the United States, there was a strong desire for the Jewish community and supporters of Israel to come together and make a very strong and powerful statement and say we stand together with each other, with Israel, and against antisemitism,” said Gil Preuss, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. “I think it’s important for everyone to understand that the Jewish community is strong and united in its support for Israel, is strong and united that Hamas free the hostages, and is strong and united in its fight against antisemitism in all of its forms.”

Preuss added that the American Jewish community is also calling for support from US leaders and policymakers, a plea that has increased in volume in recent weeks.

Jews around the world have become a target amid the Israel-Hamas war, not just the Jewish state, according to Natan Sharansky, the famed refusenik and international campaigner against antisemitism.

“Immediately after the [Oct. 7] attack we found that all of us were being attacked, and so the world Jewry is feeling like one family, supporting one another, because I hear from so many who say they never imagined that they would be afraid in their countries,” Sharansky told The Algemeiner. “We all have to rally quickly to turn into one fighting family, and I think that’s what Jews are doing now and why this demonstration is happening.”

In a recent article for Tablet magazine, Sharansky highlighted the pressing need for a mass pro-Israel rally and drew a comparison with marches in 1987 attended by hundreds of thousands to support Soviet Jewry.

“If there is to be a future for America in America, it is time to step up in defense of its core values, and in this American Jews can play an important role,” Sharansky wrote. “Let us start with a March of One Million: students, parents, Jewish organizations, and allies coming together in support of academic freedom and against a primitive ideology that silences truth and justifies murderous rampages as a form of liberation.”

Sharansky, a Jewish leader and human rights activist, told The Algemeiner that unity in the Jewish diaspora is crucial, noting that political polarization in Israel that resulted from the government’s proposed judicial reforms has all but disappeared. 

“Disagreements look much less important in view of this huge challenge and tragedy in which we have to go out of it winning, and the idea of course for marching on Washington was motivated by a sense that we must strengthen the feeling of unity,” he added. “My students themselves feel lonely in this struggle. It’s very important that they see themselves as part of a huge movement. The idea is uniting and empowering. We felt differently in Moscow. There we felt we were part of a huge movement of Jewish people.”

Reports of harassment, intimidation, and violence targeting Jewish students and pro-Israel advocates have spiked on US college campuses, which have become hubs of the ongoing surge in antisemitism.

This week’s rally, which is being co-organized by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is set to take place at 1 pm at the National Mall in Washington, DC. Road closures begin Monday ahead of gates opening Tuesday at 10 am. Organizers reportedly expect up to 100,000 people to show up.

The march gives students who have been targeted for denouncing Hamas’ atrocities a chance to participate in an event of “historical significance,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUS, told The Algemeiner.

“Not since the Holocaust have the Jewish people suffered a vicious pogrom like this, coupled with the daily torment of knowing that Hamas abducted and still has 240 men, women, and children,” Rothstein said. “The Jewish people and their allies are gathering to support Israel in its fight against terrorism and demand the safe return of all the hostages.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post ‘We Stand Together’: US Jewish Groups to Hold Major Pro-Israel Rally in Washington, DC on Tuesday first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis

Drones are seen at a site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on April 20, 2023. Photo: Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsA senior Israeli security official spoke to i24NEWS on Saturday on condition of the retaliatory strike carried out by the Israel Air Force against the Houthi jihadists in Yemen.

“This is an important operation which signals that there’s room for further escalation, and sends a very strong message to the entire Shiite axis.”

“We understood there is a high probability of counter attacks, but if we do not respond, the meaning is even worse. Israel has updated the US prior to the operation.”

The strike on Hodeida came after long-range Iranian-made drone hit a building in central Tel Aviv, killing one man and wounded several others.

The post Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addresses followers via a video link at the al-Shaab Mosque, formerly al-Saleh Mosque, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

i24 NewsThe Israeli military on Saturday confirmed striking a port in Yemen controlled by the Houthi jihadists, a day after the Iranian proxy group perpetrated a deadly drone attack on Tel Aviv.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the State of Israel in recent months.”

After Houthi drone attack on Tel Aviv, reports and footage out of Yemen of air strikes hitting Hodeida

— Video used in accordance with clause 27A of Israeli copyright law pic.twitter.com/d2uE16ZzQ1

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, issued a statement saying “The fire that is currently burning in Hodeidah, is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear. The Houthis attacked us over 200 times. The first time that they harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required.”

“The blood of Israeli citizens has a price,” Gallant added. “This has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen, and in other places – if they will dare to attack us, the result will be identical.”

Gallant: ‘The fire currently burning in Hodeida is seen across the region and the significance is clear… The blood of Israeli citizens has a price, as has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen and in other places – if they dare attack us, the result will be identical.’ pic.twitter.com/DmHjwfHtPV

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

The post IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan leaves after attending a military parade to mark the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup, in the Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, in the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus July 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Greek Cypriots mourned and Turkish Cypriots rejoiced on Saturday, the 50th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of part of the island after a brief Greek inspired coup, with the chances of reconciliation as elusive as ever.

The ethnically split island is a persistent source of tension between Greece and Turkey, which are both partners in NATO but are at odds over numerous issues.

Their differences were laid bare on Saturday, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attending a celebratory military parade in north Nicosia to mark the day in 1974 when Turkish forces launched an offensive that they call a “peace operation.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due later on Saturday to attend an event in the south of the Nicosia to commemorate what Greeks commonly refer to as the “barbaric Turkish invasion.” Air raid sirens sounded across the area at dawn.

Mitsotakis posted an image of a blood-stained map of Cyprus on his LinkedIn page with the words “Half a century since the national tragedy of Cyprus.”

There was jubilation in the north.

“The Cyprus Peace Operation saved Turkish Cypriots from cruelty and brought them to freedom,” Erdogan told crowds who gathered to watch the parade despite stifling midday heat, criticizing the south for having a “spoiled mentality” and seeing itself as the sole ruler of Cyprus.

Peace talks are stalled at two seemingly irreconcilable concepts – Greek Cypriots want reunification as a federation. Turkish Cypriots want a two-state settlement.

Erdogan left open a window to dialogue although he said a federal solution, advocated by Greek Cypriots and backed by most in the international community, was “not possible.”

“We are ready for negotiations, to meet, and to establish long-term peace and resolution in Cyprus,” he said.

Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, but a shared administration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots quickly fell apart in violence that saw Turkish Cypriots withdraw into enclaves and led to the dispatch of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

The crisis left Greek Cypriots running the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union since 2004 with the potential to derail Turkey’s own decades-long aspirations of joining the bloc.

It also complicates any attempts to unlock energy potential in the eastern Mediterranean because of overlapping claims. The region has seen major discoveries of hydrocarbons in recent years.

REMEMBERING THE DEAD

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, whose office represents the Greek Cypriot community in the reunification dialogue, said the anniversary was a somber occasion for reflection and for remembering the dead.

“Our mission is liberation, reunification and solving the Cyprus problem,” he said. “If we really want to send a message on this tragic anniversary … it is to do anything possible to reunite Cyprus.”

Turkey, he said, continued to be responsible for violating human rights and international law over Cyprus.

Across the south, church services were held to remember the more than 3,000 people who died in the Turkish invasion.

“It was a betrayal of Cyprus and so many kids were lost. It wasn’t just my son, it was many,” said Loukas Alexandrou, 90, as he tended the grave of his son at a military cemetery.

In Turkey, state television focused on violence against Turkish Cypriots prior to the invasion, particularly on bloodshed in 1963-64 and in 1967.

Turkey’s invasion took more than a third of the island and expelled more than 160,000 Greek Cypriots to the south.

Reunification talks collapsed in 2017 and have been at a stalemate since. Northern Cyprus is a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, and its Turkish Cypriot leadership wants international recognition.

The post One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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