On Tuesday, a degraded spectacle took place on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The “March for Israel” will be recorded in history as a rally for ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties declared their support for Israel’s war against the people of Gaza, which has already killed at least 11,000 people, including more than 4,000 children. Just hours later, in a move apparently coordinated with the rally, Israeli tanks and bulldozers attacked Al-Shifa Hospital, the latest blatant war crime.
Under these conditions, the most popular chant at the rally, “No Ceasefire! No Ceasefire!”, would have been more accurately rendered as “Genocide, genocide, more genocide!”
The rally was a desperate attempt by the ruling class to manufacture popular support for its actions that does not exist. It had the backing of the entire political establishment, with Democratic and Republican leaders in both the US Senate and House featured as prominent speakers. The Biden administration sent as a representative its “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism,” Deborah Lipstadt.
Substantial funding was devoted to flying participants from throughout the country and financing their attendance. At its height, however, the rally barely attracted 10,000 people, a tiny fraction of those who participated in the mass rally of 300,000 in Washington D.C. 10 days ago.
The media, entirely predictably, trumpeted the rally as a massive outpouring of support for Israel. The New York Times, Washington Post and other publications carried prominent articles Tuesday night, while the network news published live reports—the same outlets that have blacked out coverage of far larger demonstrations against the genocide, which have been held throughout the US and around the world. Wildly inflated figures were published, along with closely cropped images, claiming an attendance more than 10 times the reality.
While those speaking attempted to present the rally as representing the voice of Jewish people, far more Jews have participated in demonstrations against Israel’s actions than traveled to D.C. Tuesday. Just the day before, hundreds of protesters, led by Jewish Voice for Peace, staged a sit-in at the federal building in Oakland, California, with many arrested.
Both the Democrats and the Republicans joined hands, literally, to proclaim their absolute and unconditional support for the Netanyahu regime in Israel.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer led the crowd in chants of “We stand with Israel,” and promised that Congress would not rest until the Israeli government got the military “assistance you need!” Following his proclamation that “the United States has always stood with Israel, and we will do everything to see that that never, ever changes,” Schumer led the crowd in chants of “USA! USA!”
Newly elected Republican Speaker of the House Michael Johnson, a Christian fascist, echoed the remarks of Netanyahu and other Israeli ministers used to justify the genocide. “This is a fight between light and darkness, between civilization and barbarism. The calls for ceasefire are outrageous!”
Johnson concluded his remarks with a threat to those within the United States opposing Israel’s actions. “My hope,” he said, “[is] that this gathering today serves as a reminder to the entire world, but also to those within our own borders, that the United States stands proudly with Israel (emphasis added).”
Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries declared, “I support Biden’s bipartisan funding request for Ukraine and Israel,” invoking the “special relationship” between the US and Israel, “rooted in shared values and shared strategic interest.”
Fourth-ranking Republican Senator Joni Ernst capped the congressional leadership speeches with a warmongering rant: “Monsters of Hamas deserve nothing but complete and total destruction!”
The remarks of the four congressmen, along with those of all the speakers, were premised on the fraud that the world has been overcome by a wave of mass antisemitism. Speakers denounced protesters, including students on college campuses, demanding that university administrators take more aggressive censorship actions. They exploited the Nazis’ mass murder of Jews to justify their own support for genocidal actions.
CNN talking head and Democratic Party operative Van Jones—whose remarks were most significant in that his pious wish to end all violence and discrimination was met with boos and chants of “No Ceasefire!”—referenced a report from the Anti-Defamation League claiming that antisemitic incidents in the US had skyrocketed by 400 percent since October 7.
The ADL, as detailed by Mint Press News’ Alan McCleod, claimed that 153 rallies and demonstrations held in support of Palestine since October 7 were actually “in support of terror” and provided “explicit or strong implicit support for Hamas.”
If anything will fuel antisemitism, it is the lie, promoted by all those speaking yesterday, that, in its criminal actions, the Netanyahu government is acting in the interests of all Jewish people.
Adding to the absurdity of this charge is the fact that the rally brought forward far-right Christian fundamentalists and antisemites. Among the speakers was the white supremacist and antisemitic head of Christians United For Israel (CUFI), evangelical pastor John Hagee.
Among his many antisemitic statements is Hagee’s assertion, in his book Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to The World, that Hitler was a “half-breed Jew,” who was sent by God as a “hunter” to drive European Jews to “the only home God ever intended for the Jews to have—Israel.”
Framing Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign as a divine mission, Hagee proclaimed at the rally that “Israel is not merely a state, Israel is the apple of God’s eye.” Putting no restrictions on Israeli war crimes, Hagee declared, “You, the leaders of Israel, should decide how this war is conducted, you, and no one else!”
It is not a secret that Christian fascists like Hagee (and House Speaker Johnson) subscribe to the view that all Jews must return to Israel to fulfill a biblical prophesy that is required before the End Times, when everyone, including Jews, will have to convert to Christianity or be exterminated.
What brought together the entire political establishment and the state in support of Tuesday’s rally, however, was a shared commitment to the strategic interests of the financial oligarchy in supporting the genocide in Gaza as part of the broader war of American imperialism. The pathetic and bedraggled character of the event only demonstrated how isolated they are.
However, it also made clear that the American ruling class is united in its determination to use any means to enforce its social interests, both abroad and at home. The struggle against genocide and war must, therefore, proceed as a fight of the working class against the entire rotten and blood-drenched political establishment, including both of its parties, and the capitalist social order they represent.