WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tuesday afternoon, tens of thousands of people showed up to support Israel as the nation continues to fight Hamas.
Multiple blocks of the National Mall were filled with attendees who traveled from across the country to show their support for Israel. Many flew to Washington or arrived by bus.
Organizers say the rally’s goal was to unify and to fight antisemitism, which has been on the rise since the war began in October.
Leaders from both parties in the House and Senate, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R- LA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY), voiced strong support for Israel.
Another purpose for rallying, organizers said, was to call for the roughly 240 hostages to be freed by Hamas. Family members of hostages spoke on stage in front of thousands, pleading for their loved-one’s release.
Speakers at the rally also emphasized the importance of coming together to speak out against both the terror that unfolded on October 7 and the rise in antisemitism. Attendees echoed similar remarks. For many of them, the issue is personal.
“My grandparents are holocaust survivors, and both of my parents escaped the Soviet Union and antisemitism. I’ve personally experienced antisemitism. I’m here standing up for my people, my friends, my family,” said Lillian Graisman, an attendee at the rally. “Hamas can’t break us. Never again is now.”
Graisman emphasized the importance of speaking up and speaking out against antisemitism. According to the Anti-Defamation League, a total of 312 antisemitic incidents between Oct. 7-23 were recorded in the U.S., 190 of which were directly linked to the war in Israel and Gaza.
“We hear your silence. Your silence is loud. We will never break,” said Graisman.
There were roughly 2-3 dozen protestors condemning the Israeli government outside the gated rally today. Altercations were mostly verbal with no major incidents reported.