Thousands march in Washington, D.C. in support of Israel
Tens of thousands marched in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to support Israel's military campaign against Hamas.
Why it matters: The "March for Israel" comes nearly six weeks after Hamas attacked Israel, as the death toll in Gaza continues to climb and the dire humanitarian crisis there deepens.
- The protesters demanded the release of hundreds of hostages held in Gaza and condemn rising antisemitism in the U.S. and abroad.
- More than 11,200 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed during Israel's heavy bombardment and ground operation, according to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-run Gaza.
- Israel's government has resisted calls for a ceasefire but has begun temporary humanitarian pauses to allow Palestinians in northern Gaza to get supplies or evacuate to the south.
What they're saying: "Today, we come together as a family, one big mishpachah, to march for Israel, to march for the babies, the boys and girls, women and men, viciously held hostage by Hamas," Israeli President Isaac Herzog told the crowd through a live video feed.
The march was organized by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
- A bipartisan group of representatives and senators attended, while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) spoke at the event.
- Capitol security was heightened in response to the massive rally, though Capitol Hill has repeatedly seen increased safety measures since the war began.
- It was designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a "level 1" security event, which is its highest rating in its risk assessment framework, according to ABC News.
Several demonstrations have been held in the nation's capital since the start of the war on Oct. 7.
- Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered in Freedom Plaza demanding a Gaza ceasefire and an end to U.S. aid to Israel earlier this month.
More than 400 employees in the Biden's administration signed a letter demanding that President Biden pursue a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.
- A dissent memo also circulating within the Department of State has accused Biden of "spreading misinformation" on the Israel-Hamas war and alleged that Israel is committing "war crimes" in Gaza, Axios Hans Nichols reports.
The big picture: The DHS warned last month that the war will likely enflame tensions within the U.S., which could threaten Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities and institutions.
- Along with rising cases of antisemitic cases, there has also been a surge in complaints of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias, according to the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.