Nov 16, 2023 - News

Hoosiers join March for Israel in D.C.

A group of people holding signs that say Hoosiers for Israel

A group of roughly 120 Hoosiers joined the March for Israel this week. Photo: Courtesy of Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis

More than 100 Indy-area residents joined thousands more to march in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to support Israel's military campaign against Hamas.

Why it matters: The "March for Israel" came nearly six weeks after Hamas attacked Israel, as the death toll in Gaza continues to climb and the dire humanitarian crisis there deepens, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

  • The protesters demanded the release of hundreds of hostages held in Gaza and condemned rising antisemitism in the U.S. and abroad.

Zoom in: The Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis organized a charter bus to take Hoosiers to the march while other members of the community drove or flew, director of operations Jeff Linkon told Axios.

  • "This is something that the Jewish community and those who support Israel just needed really badly," Linkon said. "And as much as we needed it, we also needed to show up and be counted and let the community in Israel know that we're here for them and standing with them."

State of play: 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 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: "This is a difficult time for Israel and for the Jewish community," Linkon said. "It's not something that we asked for, not something that Israel asked for but there is absolutely an awareness and empathy to the challenges and struggles and impact that the current war is having on civilians on both sides."

The big picture: The DHS warned last month that the war will likely inflame tensions within the U.S., which could threaten Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities and institutions.

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