Tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington, DC, on Tuesday to support Israel and condemn anti-Semitism, after weeks of largely pro-Palestinian demonstrations in various cities across the country.
Several congressmen participated in the protest on the esplanade of the National Mall, near the Capitol.
Many people wore blue and white, the colors of Israel, and waved banners calling on the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas to release the hostages.
"Of course we support Israel... We are doing exactly what we have to do," declared one protester, Sergei Kravchick, despite strong controversy in some sectors of the population over the intensity of the Israeli military response to the deadly attack carried out by Hamas. on October 7.
Kravchick, 64, said he was proud of the large turnout at this demonstration, which under the name March for Israel denounced anti-Semitism and called for the release of the 240 hostages held by Hamas, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, one of organizers.
Hamas forces crossed the border from the Gaza Strip and killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians and many of them children, according to Israeli authorities.
Since then, the Israeli army has intensively bombed Gaza and launched a ground operation that has resulted in the deaths of more than 11,200 people, also mostly civilians, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, ruled by Hamas.
Speaking by video from Jerusalem, Israeli President Isaac Herzog told the crowd that he was demonstrating "for the right of every Jew to live proudly and safely in Israel, in the United States and in the world."
"No one will break us," he said.
According to the organizers of the march, “it was the opportunity to unite in solidarity with the people of Israel, demonstrate our commitment to the United States' most important ally in the Middle East, condemn the growing trend of anti-Semitic violence and harassment, and demand that all hostages are released immediately and safely.”