(JTA) — They went to Washington to support Israel and left the rally with a deepened sense of the Jewish community in the United States.
So said teenagers who were among the estimated 290,000 Israel supporters who gathered on the National Mall on Tuesday — one of the largest gatherings of Jews in U.S. history. JTA’s Teen Journalism Fellows were at the March for Israel to report on their peers’ experiences throughout the day; many heard from teens that they would be returning home inspired by the number of people, the range of Judaism represented, the support of non-Jewish allies and the overall feeling of hope.
Here’s what nine young people who were proud to be a part of the historic gathering said during their day in D.C.
Isaac Shalit, 14, Austin, Texas
World War I Memorial, 10:34 a.m.
I’m feeling great. Everywhere you see there are people to represent Israel. It’s great to see that there are a bunch of other people coming together for the same reason you are.
[At the minyan outside the White House Tuesday morning] there was a lot of singing, a lot of dancing. You saw completely different sects, completely different parts of Judaism. A guy in a full suit with a hat on, dancing with a guy without even a kippah on. It was great seeing everyone coming together for Israel.
Lior Markus, 16, Toronto, Ontario
The National Mall, 11:59 a.m.
I haven’t felt this many presence of Jews since I was last in Israel. There’s a nice sense of patriotism of sorts — everyone is here to support our country, our people, our nation. It’s beautiful, beautiful to see.
Juju Jennet, 17, Washington, D.C.
The National Mall, 12:10 p.m.
I’m here to support my fellow Jewish people and stand up against antisemitism. It’s amazing to see all the Jewish people here and even supporters that aren’t Jewish. It’s just crazy to see these numbers, and it feels great that so many people are in support of Israel and are standing up against Hamas and rising antisemitism.
Yoshi Polotsky, 13, Denver, Colorado
The National Mall, 12:25 p.m.
I’m here to represent Israel in the fight against Hamas. My heritage shows how much I love Israel. It feels like a really big community here. It’s a warm, fuzzy family.
Adin Linden, 17, New York City
The National Mall, 2:19 p.m.
I’m here to show my support for Israel, and to show the people who are fighting back against Israel in America that we’re stronger than them. We’re more united.
I’ve seen people from all different parts of my life, but also people who are more religious, people who are less religious, all different races, genders. It’s just very powerful to see all these different groups coming together.
Emma Shalmiyev, 17, Lower Merion, Philadelphia
Recorded on the bus returning home from the rally, 5:29 p.m
I feel moved and inspired. Each speaker expressed so much emotion. It was crazy and uplifting to see so many people come. The rally also showed me that people do care — not just Jews — and that there are so many of us. I didn’t realize that before.
I remember thinking at the rally, there is hope. There may have been hope before but now there is so much more!
Hadas Winberg, 15, Newton, Massachusetts
At the airport coming home from the rally, 7:41 p.m.
I went [to the rally] to have an impact on powerful people. But I also went to boost morale. For example, my aunt, who lives in Israel, shared that she was looking forward to hearing about the news in D.C. because all the news lately has been so bad. So I was also there to be part of something that positively impacts civilians and makes them feel supported. That is the most important thing that we can do now.
Aliya Ryman, 15, Bronx, New York
On the bus heading home from the rally, 8:46 p.m.
I wanted to come to this rally because I feel really connected to my Jewish identity and culture. I also knew that this was something that I’d remember forever — and a memory that I can pass on to future generations. So many people coming to stand up for Israel is very powerful.
I was horrified and devastated for the families who’ve lost loved ones and those whose family members are wounded or being held hostage. I wanted to show solidarity and let them know that we’re all here to support them.
I also have a tremendous sense of pride in our people and their resilience. But the need for the rally in the first place worries me.
Chinka Fried, 19, Israeli living in Lower Merion, Philadelphia
Recorded at home after the rally, 10:26 p.m.
I came to the rally to show support for Medinat Israel [the State of Israel] and Eretz Israel [the land of Israel], and to bring the [hostage] kids home. I saw the strength of the Jewish community in the U.S. There were so many people — so many different people and communities. I was very inspired. But I was also sad because we congregated as a result of tragedy in Israel and antisemitism in the U.S. Nonetheless, I am proud of the U.S. community and how it stands up for Israel. That was really nice to see.
The post What 9 Jewish teens from across the US said they took away from marching for Israel in DC appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
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.”
The post Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
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.
The post Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
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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