Nearly 300,000 turn out to support Israel at Washington DC march

Event organisers called the rally the 'largest pro-Israel event in history'


Demonstrators in support of Israel gather to denounce antisemitism and call for the release of Israeli hostages on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on November 14, 2023. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP) (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

Hundreds of thousands of American Jews and supporters of Israel have attended an unprecedented rally in support of the country in Washington DC.

“We have indeed made history today with over 290,000 of us gathered here on the National Mall. This is the largest pro-Israel gathering in history,” William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told attendees of the “March for Israel” on the National Mall in Washington on Tuesday.

Daroff, whose organization represents 50 member groups, added that another 250,000 watched the march on livestream and on C-SPAN, an American news channel.

He added that bus drivers refused to transport 900 participants from the Detroit Federation who arrived at Dulles International Airport when the drivers learned they were going to a pro-Israel event.

“Today’s crowd brings together every sector of American life. People of all faiths and creeds, of all races and backgrounds, to say together with unity and strength, ‘We support Israel’s fight to rid itself of the terror threat and restore safety and security to its people,’” Fingerhut said.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog broadcast a live address from the Western Wall in Jerusalem to the hundreds of thousands of participants at the rally, telling the crowd: “In the State of Israel’s darkest moment you stood up and declared: Hineini, I am here. We are here. There is no greater and more just cause than this. Today, we come together, as a family, one big Mishpacha, to march for Israel.

"To march for the babies, the boys and girls, women and men viciously held hostage by Hamas. To march for the right of every Jew to live proudly and safely in America, in Israel and around the world. Above all, we come together to march for good over evil, for human morality over blood thirst. We march for light over darkness."

The event also saw a moving performance of Hatikva by Israeli popstar Omer Adam, and an address by Jewish actress Deborah Messing.

New York senator Chuck Schumer was part of a congressional delegation that addressed the march.

When the world ignored antisemitism in the last century, it led to the “worst catastrophe in human history,” Schumer, the highest-ranking US Jewish official, told the audience.

“Let us not forget history,” he said. He noted that Israel was almost destroyed in 1967 and 1973. “We cannot, we must not let that happen again,” he said. 

"Even in its darkest days, the United States has always stood with Israel.

“We will do everything to see that that never changes,” Schumer added. “When Hamas says ‘From the river to the sea,’ they mean that all of present-day Israel should be a Jew-free land.” 

Schumer also called for the release of all of the hostages.

“We in America have your back. America feels your pain. We ache with you,” he said, addressing Israelis. “We stand with you. And we will not rest until you get all the assistance you need.”

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