300,000 flock to Washington, DC for largest pro-Israel rally in history

Tens of thousands gather in Washington in show of solidarity with Israel and to condemn rising antisemitism.

By The Algemeiner Staff

An estimated 300,000 people gathered in Washington, DC on Tuesday for a “March for Israel” to show solidarity with Israel in its war with Hamas and condemn rising antisemitism.

This was the largest pro-Israel demonstration in history.

Streets were closed around much of downtown amid heightened security, as people gathered in bright sunshine on the National Mall, many draped in Israeli and US flags.

“We are here to show the world that we won’t be exterminated again,” said Marco Abbou, 57, a personal trainer from Hackensack, New Jersey, who is originally from Israel.

Protests and public demonstrations — both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel — have rippled around the world since gunmen from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas rampaged through southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people, according to Israel, and taking about 240 hostages back to Gaza.

Israel responded with a military campaign of air strikes and ground operations against Hamas in Gaza, seeking to incapacitate the Iran-backed terror group’s leadership and military capabilities.

As well as protests, the conflict has sparked a rise in antisemitic incidents in the United States including violent assaults and online harassment, according to advocacy groups.

Organizers of Tuesday’s demonstration said they estimated 200,000 people were attending to show US support for Israel, demand the release of hostages, and condemn antisemitic violence and harassment.

The largest demonstration in Washington so far related to the conflict on Nov. 4 drew thousands who called for the US government, Israel‘s main backer, to call for a ceasefire.

“A ceasefire is a pause that would allow Hamas to rearm,” said Ariel Ben-Chitrit, 33, a federal government worker from Herndon, Virginia, who was carrying a blue and white Israeli flag at Tuesday’s protest.


Ben-Chitrit expressed regret that Palestinian civilians were suffering and Gaza hospitals being subjected to extreme conditions, but said the only way to end the conflict was to eliminate Hamas.

“Hamas has proven they are not interested in peace,” he said.

The terror group, which rules Gaza, has used hospitals and the civilians in them as “human shields” while fighting Israel.

The Biden administration has rebuffed calls for a ceasefire but has urged Israel to grant pauses in the fighting for civilians to move to safer locations and for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

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Underscoring support in the US Congress for Israel, busloads of senators and members of the House of Representatives attended the pro-Israel rally. Senator Charles Schumer, the Senate’s Democratic majority leader, and the highest-ranking Jewish elected US official, rescheduled his weekly press conference so he could attend.

Authorities ordered an increased police presence for the demonstration, the House of Representative’s Sergeant at Arms said in a notice on Monday, adding there was no specific threat but measures were being taken out of an abundance of caution.

Tuesday’s rally included Orthodox Jews wearing long black coats and black felt hats, gaggles of children, and self-described “progressive liberals” such as Erica Taxin, 56, a yoga studio owner from Philadelphia.

She said she disagreed with other progressives calling for a ceasefire.

“We can disagree about some of Israel’s policies. What I do disagree with is that this was terrorism,” she said of Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault.

The terrorists “didn’t just take hostages but killed children and peacemakers,” she said, referring to murdered Israeli activists who advocated peace with the Palestinians. “How does that have anything to do with social justice?”