Record Turnout at Pro-Israel Rally on Washington Mall Offers Rousing Rejoinder to Critics of the Jewish State

It was a peaceful gathering, without bigotry or racism. Sympathy was expressed for innocents on the other side. It was bipartisan and larger.

AP/Mark Schiefelbein
American and Israeli flags fly at the March for Israel at the National Mall on November 14, 2023. AP/Mark Schiefelbein

How inspiring to see a crowd — estimated at more than 300,000 — turn out today at Washington today in support of the Jewish state. It’s a fine riposte to what we’ve called the mutiny at Foggy Bottom against the administration’s support for Israel. The mutiny is apparently spreading, with, according to the New York Times, dissidents from 40 agencies of government signing cables challenging the administration’s policies. 

That starts to look like an all-of-government dissent — even if many of the dissent cables’ signers lack the coverage to give their names in public. Axios reckons that 100 State staffers have signed a “scathing” memorandum excoriating the president. The Times brings word of another letter signed by more than 500 federal employees, and Reuters reports more than 1,000 at the U.S. Agency for International Development penned yet another. 

The Times calls it a “surging tide of internal disagreement.” The debate over whether to back Israel or deliver the ceasefire craved by Hamas and its allies and supported by the Times could not come at a more inopportune time for the Jewish state, which, in a hard fought campaign, is gaining ground on the terrorists. Liberation from Hamas for Israelis and the people of Gaza alike appears to be getting closer. 

Now, though, comes the rank and file of the Biden administration seeking to snatch defeat from victory’s mandible. Forgive us, but we are sympathetic to the plight of Mr. Biden and Secretary Blinken, who both appear to have appreciated early the stakes of the war between Israel and Hamas. It increasingly appears, though, as if the men and women who work for them are running the show. How long until they tilt American policy away from Jerusalem? 

In response to a restive Foggy Bottom, Mr. Blinken circulated a letter that acknowledged that the “suffering caused by this crisis is taking a profound personal toll” on his diplomats. He assured them that “we’re listening.” And that they are “informing our policy and our messages.” A group of 500 former staffers for Mr. Biden’s 2020 campaign for president has issued a statement that the president’s “legacy will be complicity in the face of genocide.”

We hope Mr. Biden will call that out for the malarkey it is. Messrs. Biden and Blinken, while no heirs of Jabotinsky, have stood by Israel during this time of war. How long, though, until the “dissent cables” taking the side of the Palestinian Arabs mature into full-fledged American policy? An administration divided against itself on the basic question of whether America should support a defensive war waged by an ally cannot long stand.

Last month these columns noted — in the “Battle of Foggy Bottom” — the State Department’s long penchant for siding with Israel’s enemies, going back to the founding of the Jewish state. President Truman was made of sterner stuff. It now appears that State’s proclivity, never quite dispensed with, is part of a sea change among young liberal Democrats, who look on the Jewish state with hostility. Today’s staffers will be tomorrow’s principals.

All the more powerful is the statement made by the demonstrators in Washington today. Our publisher, Dovid Efune, who was in the crowd, sent a note pointing out the contrast with anti-Israel demonstrations of late. Nobody was assaulted. American flags abounded. There was no racism or bigotry. Sympathy was expressed for the innocents of the other side. It was bipartisan. It was much, much larger.

The turnout on the mall today is said to be the largest pro-Israel gathering in American history.  Let us hope that word of the stalwart support of these American patriots, with many others, reaches not only the dissenting diplomats but also the thousands of Israeli soldiers in Gaza, many of whom, in an astonishing display of patriotism, left their jobs and homes to appear in arms for the common cause of our civilization.


This editorial has been expanded from the bulldog.

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