Tens of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Tuesday to show support for Israel in its war with Hamas.
It’s the latest in a series of worldwide protests on both sides of the conflict.
The rally lasted several hours and in addition to showing support for Israel, protesters used the demonstration to call for the release of the 240 hostages in Gaza and to demand an end to antisemitism in America.
More than 100 people from the Bay Area’s Jewish community made the trip, including Tyler Gregory, the CEO of JCRC Bay Area.
“Our community had a lot of divisions before Oct. 7th. Left, right, secular, religious, reformed, orthodox, you name it,” he said. “What we saw was a beautiful tapestry of our entire community coming together. I haven’t seen our community this united in a very long time.
Dozens of speakers addressed the crowd, including Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, and speaker Mike Johnson.
Rabbi Mark Bloom of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland was also there and he had met with California senators beforehand to reiterate the group’s position, asking for support for Israel.
The rabbi also said for many, this rally was personal.
“Israel feels alone and I felt like I needed to be among the group that stands with them,” he said. “In addition, I felt alone as a Jew in the Bay Area with the increase of antisemitism. I felt like I needed to be in the presence of people who understood what we were all going through.”
Families of the hostages were also there, demanding their safe return.
Source: NBC Bay Area