The March for Israel was held in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. As RedState reported, hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall to show their support for Israel and the Jewish people, and to denounce the sickening rise in antisemitism seen both here and abroad since the horrific attacks launched by Hamas on October 7.
Both Republican and Democratic leaders attended and spoke at the event. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) addressed the crowd, noting that leaders of both parties stand with Israel. He called out the evils of Hamas and warned of the dangers of ignoring antisemitism, noting that led, in the last century, to the horrors of the Holocaust. He stopped short, however, of calling out the members of his own party in Congress who’ve been vocal in their antisemitism in recent weeks.
Following Schumer, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) spoke with conviction, laying out the significance of the event and the nature of the battle being waged.
“Thank you. It is so good to be with you all. What an extraordinary crowd — and it was organized in just a few days — amazing, amazing.
“There are few issues in Washington that could so easily bring together leaders of both parties, in both chambers. But the survival of the State of Israel and her people unites us together — and it unites all Americans.
“Let me be very clear: The United States stands unequivocally with our neighbor, our friend, our ally, Israel. They are neighbors in a global sense — that’s right.
“Last week, a bipartisan group of members stood in solidarity on the steps of the House to mourn the lost lives in the October 7th attack and to grieve with the families of Israeli hostages that are still being held in Gaza. We heard heartbreaking and tragic accounts of their kidnappings. And, of course, as you know, many of those families haven’t received an update on their well-being since that day. As a parent myself, I can begin to comprehend their despair — all of us feel this way.
“This morning, we watched the horrific film that was produced by Hamas from their own cameras as they committed the assault. It’s unspeakable. The auditorium was full of Republicans and Democrats in the House, and they wept as we watched the film together. Most couldn’t sit through it.
“These Israeli hostages were kidnapped in their homes by barbaric Hamas terrorists for simply being Jewish and living in Israel. As Prime Minister Netanyahu says so well, ‘This is a fight between good and evil, between light and darkness, between civilization and barbarism.’
“The calls for a ceasefire are outrageous.”
At that point, the crowd erupted into shouts of “No ceasefire!”
“We stand with you in that. Hamas terrorists waged the bloodiest assault on Jewish lives since the Holocaust, and there are hundreds of hostages, many of them Americans, still stuck inside Gaza. Israel will cease their counteroffensive when Hamas ceases to be a threat to the Jewish state.
“But Hamas’s genocidal and antisemitic rhetoric isn’t just confined to Gaza, as you know. The war in Israel has awakened an alarming amount of antisemitism towards Jewish people here in the United States and across the globe. In the halls of Congress, to college campuses, this rise of antisemitism must be stopped.
“We’ve heard many echo the Hamas rallying cry of ‘From the river to the sea,’ and I’m convinced that a lot of these college students that are engaging in these protests do not understand: That is an explicit call for the extermination of Israel. It is happening daily in our country, as you know, and it is unacceptable for Jewish Americans to feel unsafe at home.
“It is unacceptable for Jewish businesses to face violence, vandalism, and threats.
“It is unacceptable for universities to allow Hamas apologists to assault and accost Jewish students on campus.
“It is unacceptable for any political leader in this nation to give credence to this dangerous rhetoric.”
The crowd appeared to appreciate this not-so-subtle shot across the bow of Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and her fellow Squad members.
Finally, Johnson concluded:
“We can, and we must do more to stand with our great ally and friend. And it is my hope that this gathering today serves as a reminder to the entire world — but also to those within our own borders — that the United States stands proudly with Israel and the Jewish people forever.
Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this. God bless you.”
It was a brief speech, but an eloquent one. And it drove home the importance of moral clarity on this issue.