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.”
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.
Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
i24 News – A protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.
A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.
JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.
The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.
The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a… pic.twitter.com/B8nUQAj2nU
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023
“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”
“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”
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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed
Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.
Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.
“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”
Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.
A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.
More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.
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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.
During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.
ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.
הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו. pic.twitter.com/mEaJs58hpE
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023
The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.
It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.
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