As the bodies of hundreds of Israelis lay freshly butchered by Hamas terrorists, the group’s supporters from around the world celebrated — including by mourning the dead terrorists and cohosting a rally with a designated terrorist group — and urged them to “globalize the intifada.”
The rallies sprouted up almost immediately after Hamas stunned Israel by launching a surprise attack, likely with Iranian assistance, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. The images of Israeli grandparents and infants being held hostage, and of Israeli villages being wiped out shocked the world. It wasn’t just Israelis who were murdered, however; nine Americans have already been confirmed among the dead, along with German, French and Cambodian citizens. Eyewitness accounts describe women who were raped by Hamas terrorists, taken to Gaza, “paraded through the city’s streets, blood gushing from between their legs.”
Not everyone mourned, however. In fact, at countless protests across America, many were jubilant. I witnessed the White House rally, put on by the ANSWER Coalition, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and others — where chants glorifying the Palestinian terrorists who took Israel by storm were the norm. The crowd itself was far smaller, and less violent, than at a comparable ANSWER Coalition rally with thousands of attendees that I covered almost a decade ago, where participants punched me as I filmed them.
“They’ve got tanks, we’ve got hang gliders, glory to all the resistance fighters,” they chanted, praising the amphibious attackers on Israeli soil — the first time Israel has been invaded since its near destruction in the surprise 1973 Yom Kippur War. At one point during the rally, a leader urged supporters to do a call-and-response chant in Arabic, only for it to fall flat when they realized that most of the onlookers, who numbered a few hundred at most, hardly spoke the language.
The DC rally was only one of the over-forty pro-Hamas rallies that sprung up following the invasion, from Anchorage to Albuquerque to Austin to Atlanta. In front of the White House, demonstrators defended Palestinian violence against Israel as the “only option” and stated, without regard for proper grammar, that “liberation is a verb.”
As if to tell the weekend’s ralliers to hold their keffiyehs, today’s New York City rally to “to defend the heroic Palestinian resistance” featured a project of a group that has been debanked from credit card processors and labeled a terrorist organization by Israel. The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joined with other groups to rally outside the Israeli consulate in New York City. Samidoun is a project of the Alliance for Global Justice, which has been removed from payment platforms such as Stripe over its ties to Palestinian terror. In Los Angeles, the self-loathing Jews of IfNotNow announced they will say the Jewish mourner’s prayer for all who have died in recent days, including the Hamas terrorists that it has mourned in the past.
Other sponsors of pro-Palestinian rallies across America include the Democratic Socialists of America, whose members include six Democrats in Congress. Among them is Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, whose much-delayed and little-anticipated response to the attacks on Israel was that Israel was asking for it. “As long as our country provides billions in unconditional funding to support the apartheid government, this heartbreaking cycle of violence will continue,” she said. Earlier this year, the congresswoman was stymied by then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy in her attempts to host an event mourning the creation of Israel.
In contrast with the heavily organized pro-Palestinian demonstrations, the pro-Israel movement across America is far more disjointed. Spontaneous rallies have popped up in synagogues and in national parks, but their numbers are dwarfed by the hustle and numbers on the other side. Further organized gatherings of pro-Israel Americans are planned for the coming days, but they were hampered by the Jewish holidays that coincided with the attacks — which many cite as the impetus for the strikes happening when they did.
Protesters at a pro-Israel rally outside the Israeli Embassy (Matthew Foldi/The Spectator)
At the pro-Israel rally I attended outside the Israeli Embassy, several dozen attendees struck a markedly different tone than at the rally resplendent with Palestinian and Soviet Union flags outside the White House: it was solemn and mournful. One speaker almost broke down describing how he knows people who’ve been butchered and others who’ve been kidnapped.
The signs there conveyed messages like “we stand with Israel,” a sharp divergence from the genocidal “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” chants from earlier in the day.