“Just landed in D.C. for the March for Israel,” the singer, actress and dancer Montana Tucker wrote on social media several hours before she took the stage on the National Mall. “I hope I make my Zadie and the rest of the Jewish people proud.”
Tucker, whose collective TikTok and Instagram following numbers 12 million, wore an Israeli flag over her shoulders as she addressed the estimated crowd of 300,000 at the “March for Israel” rally on Nov. 14.
“Both of my grandparents survived the Holocaust and growing up, I remember hearing them talk about what came right before,” Tucker said. “The lies that began to spread about Jewish people. Who we are. How we pray. What we represent.”
Some of her grandparents’ friends “nevertheless started to believe those lies, and when the Nazis came, these friends just let it happen,” Tucker said. “I wonder if they ever found peace afterwards, or if the rest of their lives were defined by the moment when they could have stood up but again they decided to stay silent. That’s why I chose to do the opposite and stand loud and proud.”
Tucker wondered if “the rest of our lives will be defined by what we choose to do in this very moment.”
Young people must choose whether to remain silent and “let it all happen again,” or they can “stand together on behalf of Jews in Israel and around the world, who no longer feel safe at school, at work, and especially, online.”
“I hope that all of our friends will be there for us. That they will choose to stand with us,” she said. “This is a moment that we will all remember forever, and what we do right now, in this moment, will stay with us for the rest of our lives.”
“Can you guys just say with me, Am Yisrael chai?” Tucker asked, using the Hebrew phrase for “the people of Israel live.” She then blew the audience a kiss.
Organizers said nearly 300,000 people were estimated to be at the march with another 250,000 tuned in to a livestream.
“Due to the difficulty in accurately assessing crowd estimates for large events, the National Park Service does not make crowd estimates for permitted events,” Mike Litterst, chief of communications and spokesman for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, told JNS. “It is left to the discretion of event organizers to make a determination of their event attendance.”