update deskU.S. News

Pro-Israel rally outside White House draws clergy, influencer

The event aimed to broadcast that "there is a vibrant pro-Israel constituency that must be taken seriously," according to an organizer.

Yuval David speaks at a rally outside the White House on May 19, 2024. Credit: Richard Pollock.
Yuval David speaks at a rally outside the White House on May 19, 2024. Credit: Richard Pollock.

Some 300 people rallied outside the White House on Sunday in support of Israel, according to Richard Pollock, a spokesman for the event.

“During this period of increasing darkness it’s encouraging that we can stand before the White House and encourage the administration and Congress to continue to stand with Israel and to fight back the rising tide of antisemitism,” Pollock told JNS. “We will not be silenced or marginalized.”

The rally aimed to alert the public that “there is a vibrant pro-Israel constituency that must be taken seriously,” according to Pollock.

“It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of people are in support of Israel,” he said. “That’s why we were proud to have both Jewish and Christian leaders speak out at the White House on Sunday.”

Rabbi Hyim Shafner, of Kesher Israel in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, opened the rally with prayers for U.S. and Israeli troops, the safety of Israelis and the unconditional return of the hostages taken by Hamas terrorists into Gaza on Oct. 7.

“When the jewish people are unified, we are both physically strong and spiritually strong,” Shafner said at the event, he told JNS. “We come together not only to make a statement toward the White House but to be unified like one person with one heart in prayer and love before God.” 

Yuval David, an actor and influencer, also spoke, as did Benaya Cherlow, an Israeli-American reservist in the Israel Defense Forces who returned this week from a month in Gaza.

“We, the Jewish people and our allies, are a minority. We are facing very vocal bigots, anti-Jewish individuals, groups, and movements who espouse the hatred of Jews, Zionism and Israel,” David told JNS. “The silent majority around the world makes our fight even harder. We must be the vocal minority.”

“Antisemitism ignored grows. The world is experiencing a pandemic of antisemitism,” he added. “Each one of us has the responsibility of representing, advocating and supporting the Jewish people and Israel.”

“The war in Gaza and the war in Washington, D.C., are being fought to achieve the same goal: the right for the Jewish people to be able to exist,” Cherlow wrote on social media.

“Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at the rally against antisemitism in front of the White House,” he added. “I spoke as a soldier who came back from Gaza, and I spoke as a soldier who fights with an unseen uniform on every single street I pass in D.C.”

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