The Nation Brands Largest Pro-Israel Event in U.S. History a ‘Hate Rally’ Celebrating ‘War Crimes’

People attend the March for Israel rally Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, on the National Mall in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The historic and peaceful March for Israel in Washington, DC, on Tuesday was in fact a “hate rally,” according to the left-wing magazine The Nation, that deemed the event a “celebration” of war crimes.

The Wednesday essay, titled “The March for Israel Was a Hate Rally,” and penned by The Nation’s sports editor Dave Zirin, begins by calling the roughly 290,000 strong rally’s crowd likely “inflated,” despite the author having seen a “massive turnout.”

Organizers claimed 290,000 people attended the rally, with an additional 250,000 watching via live stream​​, making it the largest pro-Israel gathering in American history.

Describing it as a “political event like nothing I’ve seen in two decades of covering rallies in this town,” Zirin claims the “incessant calls to keep bombing Gaza” made the event a “celebration not just of war but of war crimes.” 

Slamming former Trump administration U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman for his “joy” over the large showing, he insists that “watching the leadership of the Democratic Party — Chuck Schumer [D-NY], Hakeem Jeffries [D-NY] — join in the revelry just hours before Israel Defense Forces captured Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital,” and amid “another round of killing civilians and targeting journalists trying to show these horrors to the world,” was stomach-turning.

While Friedman “may be thrilled,” he wrote, “Democrats sacrificing their party’s presidential hopes on the altar of a war crime deserve nothing but contempt.”

“If young people don’t turn out to vote, remember this rally, and remember how Schumer and Jeffries locked arms with [Speaker of the House Mike] Johnson [R-LA], looked at 80 percent of their voters, and spit in their faces,” he added.

While claiming it is not surprising to see Democratic Party leaders “in lockstep with Trumpists like [Trump’s former ambassador to Israel David] Friedman and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson” over support for the Israeli government, he called out Democratic leaders for saying “nothing about the evangelical Christian speakers with histories so anti-Semitic that they would give Donald Trump pause,” while suggesting, without offering any evidence, that “people in the anti-Jewish Christian Zionist community made up a significant portion of the crowd.” 

He also claimed they “failed to remark on the racist handmade signs attendees created for the occasion,” and that their very presence served as a “slap in the face to the 80 percent of Democratic voters who want a cease-fire.”

These Democrats, he argued, are “openly hostile to the generation of youth whose support they need to stay in office — a generation that inconveniently believes that Palestinian lives matter,” and are “contemptuous of Jews like me who say to Israel that their genocidal attacks must not be pursued in our name.” 

He also accused them of being in the process of “handing the next election to a fascist anti-Semite who, in the words of The Washington Post, is echoing Hitler by calling their opponents ‘vermin’”:

Schumer and Jeffries would rather stand with a pro-war mob that shouted down an over-his-head Van Jones calling for peace. Speaker after speaker slammed the idea of a cease-fire and slandered the cease-fire protests as ‘pro Hamas.’ C-list celebrities like Debra Messing and Michael Rapaport backed a message whose only logic is bigotry and bombings. But the coup de grâce was when they cheered a video speech by Israeli President Isaac Herzog who has said that civilians in Gaza are legitimate targets, that ‘it is an entire nation out there that is responsible.’

“This was not just a rally supporting a war,” he added. “This was a rally supporting a war crime.”

Herzog had clarified that he did not imply civilians were legitimate targets, emphasizing Israel’s right to self-defense against missile attacks from civilian areas in Gaza​.

While defenders of “yesterday’s shanda will say that it was a mass gathering ‘against anti-Semitism,’” Zirin questioned “what kind of rally against ‘anti-Semitism’ features John Hagee, the Christian Zionist evangelical leader who has said Hitler was brought by God on a divine mission to ‘create’ the state of Israel?” 

“You bring Hagee out of his crypt only to send a message that this is not about making sure that Jews are safe,” he said. “It’s about showing solidarity with Israel, no matter the allies.”

While Hagee has indeed made controversial statements in the past, he later apologized, expressing regret for any pain caused to his Jewish friends​​.

The political sportswriter also questioned what kind of rally opposing antisemitism “includes racist signs calling for more war, more bombings, and the end of not just Hamas but Palestine itself?” 

“Or as one sign held by a masked protester read, ‘From the river to the sea, Israel is all you will see,’” he added.

WATCH — “UNITED” — House & Senate Republicans & Democrats Come Together for March for Israel Rally in D.C.:

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

Admitting that not every person in attendance “was there to celebrate war,” while noting that “reports of increasing anti-Semitism have many people understandably concerned,” Zirin asserted that the event’s messaging was “far less about anti-Semitism than about ‘finishing the job’ in Gaza.”

He also insisted that the march was “not a call to ‘free the hostages,’” despite the multiple calls for the release of the estimated 240 hostages taken by Hamas.

In fact, the event featured speeches from families of hostages, who addressed the crowd with emotional appeals, as attendees held up posters of the captives, demanding “Bring them home!”

According to Zirin, the march “elevated bigots, trolls, and an Israeli president who has made an open call for genocide.”

He continued: 

At one point, on Herzog’s urging, the crowd stopped chanting against a cease-fire and instead shouted ‘never again.’ This was a vandalizing of those sacred words. ‘Never again’—as I was raised—is supposed to mean that never again would Jews remain quiet when anyone on this planet faced genocide. But for Herzog, it means that for the horrid crime of October 7, Israel must declare a total war against the people of Gaza. For Herzog, there are no innocents in Gaza. 

“To chant ‘never again’ in the comfort of sunny D.C. while a trapped ghetto is bombed half a world away in our name shames this rally,” he added.

Zirin has previously expressed support for the boycotting of Israeli sports teams as a legitimate response to Israel’s actions.

WATCH — “BRING THEM HOME!” — Thousands SHOUT While Holding Up Posters of Those Kidnapped by Hamas:

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

Last year, he said the United States was dealing with “similar trends” towards LGBTQ people when discussing Qatar’s LGBTQ rights record, which included homosexuality being a crime.

Far from a “celebration of war crimes,” Tuesday’s March for Israel rally in Washington, D.C. was hailed as a pro-American show of unity and support for Israel, with various speakers, including politicians from both major U.S. parties, celebrities, and family members of hostages.

Many saw the event as a sharp contrast to recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations, which notably featured acts of violence, antisemitism, and extreme rhetoric, including the waving of jihadist flags and calls for a violent intifada against civilians. 

In one incident, a pro-Palestinian mob was seen cheering on a protester who climbed a flagpole and tore down U.S. flags as demonstrators marched through central Manhattan over Veterans Day weekend.

In another, pro-Palestinian demonstrators outside the Sydney Opera House were heard calling to “gas the Jews.”

In Cape Town, South Africa, protestors were even seen waving an ISIS flag.

Last week, pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupied the lobby of the New York Times while vandalizing police vehicles outside with “Free Gaza” slogans.

Protesters were also spotted donning Hamas-style headbands at a demonstration in London.

Podcaster Natalie Winters described walking through the National March to Free Palestine in DC, stating, “I truly don’t feel like I’m in America anymore. It’s not just blatant antisemitism it’s straight up anti-Americanism.”

Earlier this month, an elderly Jewish man from Los Angeles died after he was allegedly struck in the head by a megaphone wielded by pro-Palestinian protester at an anti-Israel rally.

Joshua Klein is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.