Pro-Israel rally in D.C. draws 300,000, highlighting higher ed disconnect

A huge pro-Israel rally in Washington, D.C. demonstrates the growing disconnect between pro-Hamas sentiments in higher education and support for Israel from rest of the nation.

The event drew…

A huge pro-Israel rally in Washington, D.C. demonstrates the growing disconnect between pro-Hamas sentiments in higher education and support for Israel from rest of the nation.

The event drew nearly 300,000 people, event organizers said, according to CBS News. Another 250,000 people livestreamed the event, the video from YouTube reveals.

The crowd was protesting against the recent Hamas attacks on innocent Israeli civilians. 

The Jewish Federation of America said it is the largest pro-Israel demonstration in the history of the United States.  

Meanwhile, universities around the country are struggling to catch up with the backlash critics say they’ve created by allowing radical student groups to flourish on college campuses over more than two decades. 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis University and Columbia University have recently suspended individual students or student groups in the wake of their support for the Hamas terror attacks on Israel, reported CBS News.  

Donors have cut ties with prominent universities such as Harvard, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, accusing academics there of being antisemitic. 

The result has been increasing pushback from groups who are shocked by the radicalization of college campuses that include and encourage extreme hate groups. 

“These campus radicals have been coddled, so much, for so long, that they’re now comfortable enough supporting violence, without any fear of reprisal. And that speaks to how truly awful the state of discourse on college campuses is,” Adam Guillette, president of Accuracy in Media (AIM), told The Lion.  

By contrast, the March for Israel showed a remarkable degree of bipartisan agreement.  

Top Democrats in Congress came together on the stage with Republican leaders at the event, reported the Associated Press. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jefferies joined Republicans Mike Johnson, the House speaker, and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. 

They joined hands as Schumer chanted, “We stand with Israel,” said the AP.  

The pro-Hamas protests at college campuses punctuate what has been a growing trend toward antisemitism in the United States. 

As early as 1997, the Anti-defamation League (ADL) warned about the rising tide of antisemitism on U.S. college campuses.  

“At hundreds of institutions of higher learning, the concepts of academic freedom and student activism (which have been part of the Jewish success story on campus) have been invoked to shield hatred. No longer the ivory towers they were once considered, colleges and universities are proving all too porous to the prejudices emerging in our society,” the ADL reported 25 years ago. “In recent years, campuses have become a new proving ground for the tactics of all manner of extremists, forcing some colleges and universities onto the frontline in the fight against extremism and anti-Semitism.” 

Some have accused progressives such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, and other allies of the Democratic Socialists of America of making antisemitism fashionable among Democrats.  

The student newspaper for Dartmouth University has reported on a growing wave of antisemitic and anti-Palestinian attacks on university campuses.  

For example, on Oct. 31, New York State Police arrested 21-year-old Cornell student Patrick Dai, following alleged threats to kill Jewish students and stage a shooting at a Kosher dining facility at the university, according to the Dartmouth.  

Addressing the March for Israel crowd via video from the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israeli  President Isaac Herzog called the attacks by Hamas the largest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust. 

“Forty days ago, a terrorist army invaded the sovereign State of Israel and butchered hundreds upon hundreds of Israelis in the largest massacre since the Holocaust. Let us cry out, together: Never Again. Never Again is now,” he told the crowd, according to the Times of Israel.