Called the “March for Israel,” U.S. lawmakers, including Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Mike Johnson, addressed the crowd on the National Mall.
"We will not hide in the face of adversity," Schumer said.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke via video.
“No one will break us,” Herzog said. “We will rise again.”
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security designated the march a “level 1” security event, the “highest classification in its system and one usually used for the Super Bowl and other major events,” according to the Associated Press.
Federal law enforcement agencies sent a joint bulletin to their counterparts in Washington warning about the potential for violence or an attack inspired by the Israel-Hamas war, the AP reported, but said there were no specific threats.
Busloads of pro-Israel supporters from cities like New York City and Cleveland arrived hours before the march, with many carrying signs, waving Israeli flags and chanting, “Never again.”
Organizers said 60,000 people were expected to attend the rally, easily the largest pro-Israel gathering since the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas attack that killed more than 1,200 people and during which more than 200 others were taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.
Israel’s retaliatory attacks in Gaza have killed more than 11,000 people, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.
The gulf between Israel and the US on one hand - and Arab states and much of the rest of the world on the other - couldn't really be greater. With the US diplomatic backing, and with more of its ammunition supplies being shipped to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that to achieve his goals of rescuing hostages - but more importantly, in reality, the destruction of Hamas - then a ceasefire is a non-starter. Despite their admirable work, in truth they won't get very far for the time being because neither of the protagonists - Hamas and Israel - seem awfully interested in a ceasefire anyway.
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