America’s Place in the March for Israel
State of the Union: The demonstration was supportive of Biden’s handling of the crisis to date.
At Tuesday’s pro-Israel rally in Washington, D.C., thousands praised the Biden Administration’s support for the Jewish State following the October 7 Hamas attacks and thanked the U.S. for being a safe place for the international Jewish community.
In the midst of global debates surrounding Israel’s current offensive in Gaza, the “March for Israel” saw a passionate gathering of demonstrators, along with American officials calling for peace in the Holy Land from both sides of the aisle.
Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, both Republicans, joined the New Yorker Democrats Sen. Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to say, “We stand with Israel.”
Several Jewish speakers were quick to thank America and her leaders for their “moral clarity” in the fight in Gaza. Referring to the United States as a “promised land” and a “safe haven” for Jews amid a global rise in antisemitism, they made it clear that the U.S., in their eyes, should indeed be playing a significant role in the overseas conflict. As Israel’s President Isaac Herzog said via video address, “We, the people of Israel, are grateful to President Biden, his administration, and so many members of congress on both sides of the aisle. The moral clarity and bold actions of our American allies demonstrate the depth of the U.S.-Israel alliance, which is stronger than ever before.”
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Ben Frogel, a junior at William & Mary, traveled with Tribe for Israel, the school’s pro-Israel club, to attend the rally. “My main takeaway was that this was a moving display of unity in a difficult time for Jews around the world,” he said. “Israel, while divisive in some quarters, is an issue that unites American Jews. Jews from diverse walks of life, religious backgrounds, and parts of the country came to hear from hostage families and demand the release of the people being held captive in Gaza.”
What exactly President Biden plans to do in terms of further intervening in the conflict still remains unclear. “There’s no going back to the status quo as it stood on October 6,” he said at a news conference last month, and has since maintained his support for Israel, despite growing division within the Democratic party: A letter signed by over 400 employees of the administration has demanded the president call for a ceasefire and for the U.S. to send “adequate humanitarian aid” to the Gaza strip.
Yet the demonstration, overall, expressed support for Biden’s handling of the crisis so far. Frogel said, “It seems as though the Biden Administration is doing what is necessary. While I am not an expert, it seemed like the threat of U.S. intervention prevented the conflict from boiling over into a regional war involving multiple nuclear powers.”