On Monday, a community of left-leaning Jewish organizations gathered in front of the US White House to insist the American President Joe Biden’s government to put the pressure on Israel to recall its plans to secure Gaza army. Rather, they prioritize the instant declaration of a cease-fire. The rally’s people hold hundreds of slogans banners and have many of volunteers from advocacy group such as IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for peace.
In protest of what they saw as Benjamin Netanyahu’s government’s illegal actions, they carried placards, screamed slogans, and sang traditional Jewish melodies. Considering the fatal attack carried out by the Palestinian organization Hamas on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,400 Israelis, the demonstrators blamed the government of plotting “genocide”.
According to some media sources state that during the rally, at least 30 people were taken into custody. Before the protesters marched to the White House, one of the organizers, Yotam, told them at Farragut Square that some 150 activists offered to be arrested if security guards told them to vacate the entrances.
The demonstrators also targeted US President Joe Biden, claiming that he was complicit in an Israeli counteroffensive that destroyed Gaza neighborhoods, interrupted access to essential utilities like electricity and water, and claimed the lives of about 2,200 Palestinians, including 700 children.
In the wake of the Hamas assault, Joe Biden came under fire as the Israeli prime minister extended an invitation to visit Israel. Since the attacks, Biden has stood by Israel without wavering, but he has also cautioned against reoccupying Gaza, from which Israel formally withdrew in 2005, calling it an idiotic decision.
Jewish Rally’s Concerns:
The demonstration on Monday took place as Gaza’s humanitarian situation grew more dire. More than 500,000 people have fled their homes in the northern section of the small coastal region in anticipation of an Israeli ground attack with the intention of destroying Hamas. Concerns for the safety of the impacted populace grew as the situation worsened as the invasion was being planned.
IfNotNow’s political director, Eva Borgwardt, demanded an urgent meeting with President Biden while protesting outside the White House gates. Life is on the line, she said, underscoring how important the situation is.
“Our message to President Biden is clear: as the leader of the world’s most powerful military, he must use his authority to demand a ceasefire, to promote de-escalation, to secure the release of Israeli hostages, and to address the root causes that have led us to this terrible situation,” Borgwardt stated.
The demonstrators declared their intention to use civil disobedience as a means of influencing US policy. This included the potential for nonviolent protest in the manner of closing the White House’s entrances.
Protesters carried signs that read, among other things, “My grief is not your weapon” and “Stop genocide in Gaza.” Their primary goal was to terminate US backing for Israel’s West Bank occupation and what they saw as an apartheid regime inside the Jewish state.
The rally’s organizers reaffirmed their commitment to using civil disobedience to sway US policy, which may include barring the White House’s doors and exits.
Some protesters stated that they thought the rhetoric used by Israel against the Palestinians in the wake of the Hamas attacks was overtly genocidal. While some attendees carried banners calling for a free Palestine, others waved Palestinian flags. Furthermore, a few of protesters wore Jewish kippas, or skull caps, to represent the variety of viewpoints and backgrounds present.
There was no mention of or outright criticism of Hamas among the activists present at the rally, despite the ongoing crisis brought on by the organization’s offensive on Israeli cities and neighborhoods. Rather, the Biden administration’s transfer of costly military hardware to Israel was the main subject of their attention.
Omas Baddar, American-Palestinian analyst stated that he believed the White House was acting hypocritically by denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but appearing to support Israel’s actions. He wants to give attention to the Biden’s administration divergent rhetoric, emphasizing the need for an end to violence in Russia’s confrontation with Ukraine and a foreign policy oriented on human rights. Baddar maintained that the administration’s apparent duplicity over the situation in Israel and Palestine should be strongly criticized considering this significant variation.