A significant pro-Israel rally is set to take place in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. today. This demonstration is expected to cause traffic and commute disruptions. The March for Israel, organized by The Jewish Federations of North America, anticipates a turnout of 40,000 to 60,000 participants between 1 and 3 p.m. Road closures have been implemented, and gates open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
According to The Jewish Federations of North America, the November 14th event aims to unite communities nationwide in demonstrating solidarity with the Israeli people. The organizers also emphasize the event’s purpose to demand the immediate release of remaining hostages and condemn the increasing incidents of antisemitism.
Steven Lewis, expressing the significance of the rally, stated on the National Mall on Monday, “It’s important for the country to see that there are people who support the right of Israel to exist and to defend itself.”
Earlier this month, relatives of those abducted by Hamas journeyed to Washington, urging global pressure for the prompt release of their family members. This rally follows a sizable November 4th protest in Washington, where tens of thousands of people gathered to call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza conflict and an end to U.S. aid to Israel.
“It’s been over 30 days that parents have been without their children,” expressed Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America. “This battle against Hamas is essential not only to Israel but to America.”
Organizers plan to express gratitude to President Biden and U.S. lawmakers supporting Israel, urging continued backing. Both the House and Senate have overwhelmingly passed resolutions in support of Israel. At least 18 senators and four House members have visited Israel, with the Biden administration seeking Congress approval for $14 billion in emergency military assistance.
As of 2022, Israel remains the largest recipient of U.S. aid, having received around $150 billion in taxpayer assistance. Quinnipiac University polling indicates that half of U.S. registered voters approve of Israel’s response to the October 7th attack, with 35 percent disapproving. Approval rates vary significantly by partisanship, race, and age, with Democrats (33 percent), voters aged 18 to 34 (32 percent), and Black voters (29 percent) showing the lowest approval. Meanwhile, 51 percent of voters support increased military aid to Israel, and 71 percent endorse providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.
Notable speakers at the rally will include relatives of those held by Hamas, Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).
In terms of security, the police assure there are no specific threats against the event but confirm an increased security and police presence. The D.C. police are collaborating with local, federal, and state partners to ensure a safe gathering. Mayor Muriel Bowser mentioned, “MPD has asked for mutual assistance and support from the National Guard. The National Guard will be supporting some traffic safety points.”
Organizers are also preparing for potential counter-demonstrations.
Road Closures on Tuesday, November 14
Several road closures will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., including 3rd Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW, Madison Drive from 4th Street to 14th Street, NW, Jefferson Drive from 4th Street to 14th Street, SW, Maryland Avenue from Independence Avenue to 3rd Street, SW, 12th Street Tunnel, and Inbound 14th Street from 14th Street to Independence Avenue, SW. Additionally, there will be intermittent closures on 14th Street, Independence Avenue, Constitution Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue during the same period.