More than 1,000 join ‘National March for Palestine’ in US capital

“The days of supporting the Israeli state without repercussions are over,” said a protester.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Some 1,000 pro-Palestinian protesters gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, holding signs reading “Stop Israeli War Crimes” and calling for an end to U.S. aid to Israel and military cooperation.

During the National March for Palestine, a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews from the Neturei Karta sect joined the anti-Israel protesters.

Dressed in their traditional attire amid a sea of keffiyehs and Palestinian flags, they held signs reading “Free Palestine” and “The State of ‘Israel’ does not represent World Jewry.”

“We are hoping to send a clear message to the United States government that the days of supporting the Israeli state without repercussions are over,” Sharif Silmi, a protester, told AFP.

“We will stand against any politician that continues to fund weapons to Israel. We will oppose them, we will vote against them, we will fund their opponents, until we vote them out of office,” he added.

Silmi also compared Israeli policy towards the Palestinians to South African apartheid.

He lauded what he said was an awakening among the American public, in which people had shifted towards favoring the Palestinians over the Israelis in the conflict.

“People have now woken up, and we’re resisting. Whether young Jews, young Muslims, young blacks, young whites, there is a generational shift,” he said.

“And people are working across ethnic groups, racial groups, to work for change and freedom and liberation for Palestinian people.”

Another protester, Lama Alahmad, who told AFP she is of Palestinian descent, also said she felt “there is a huge change” in public opinion regarding Israel.

“We just want the world to recognize that we are human beings. We are not terrorists,” she said.

“Was wrong about the turnout for the pro-Palestinian rally in DC today,” wrote one observer of the event on his Twitter account.

“It seemed like a moderate crowd in the beginning, but when the march finally started, the amount of people quadrupled. It’s the biggest rally on a foreign policy issue that I’ve seen in Washington so far.”