Washington: Pro-Palestinian Rally Demands U.S. Ends Aid to Israel
Protesters flooded Washington, DC, on Saturday signaling their support for Palestinians and an end to U.S. aid to Israel, using the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop as they shouted their list of demands.
Prominent far-left senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have previously called on the U.S. to restrict aid to Israel, as Breitbart News reported, with Sanders sparking outrage in 2019 when he suggested the U.S. should give aid to Gaza instead of Israel.
AFP reports the angry gathering Saturday mimicked his calls, coming on the back of last week’s ceasefire that ended 11 days of intense fighting between Israel and the Islamist terrorist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“We are hoping to send a clear message to the United States government that the days of supporting the Israeli state without repercussions are over,” one of the demonstrators, 39-year-old Washington lawyer Sharif Silmi, said as he stood in the crowd where many protesters held red, white, green and black Palestinian flags as well as placards attacking Israel.
Supporters of Palestine hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on May 29, 2021. The demonstration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial came as a ceasefire that ended 11 days of intense fighting between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip has so far held. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
“We will stand against any politician that continues to fund weapons to Israel. We will oppose them, we will vote against them, we will fund their opponents, until we vote them out of office,” said Silmi.
Lama Alahmad, a resident of neighboring Virginia who is of Palestinian origin, claimed to AFP that U.S. public opinion is slowly backing Palestinians.
“There is a huge change” Alahmad said. “We just want the world to recognize that we are human beings. We are not terrorists,” said Alahmad, a 43-year-old stay at home mother who grew up in the United Arab Emirates before moving to the US around 20 years ago.
Silmi alleged there was now broad opposition in the U.S. to how Israel treats the Palestinians, which he likened to apartheid in South Africa.
More than 1,000 rallied Saturday in Washington in support of Palestinians and calling for an end to US aid to Israel. The demonstration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial came as a ceasefire that ended 11 days of intense fighting between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip has so far held. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Supporters of Palestine gather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. – More than 1,000 rallied Saturday in Washington in support of Palestinians and calling for an end to US aid to Israel. ( ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
“People have now woken up, and we’re resisting. Whether young Jews, young Muslims, young Blacks, young whites, there is a generational shift. And people are working across ethnic groups, racial groups, to work for change and freedom and liberation for Palestinian people,” Silmi said.
The protest came as Egypt and Israel announced progress in their high-level talks in both countries Sunday to shore up the fragile truce between Israel and the Hamas terror group, AP reports.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry was meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, who landed in Cairo on Sunday. It was the first public visit by an Israeli foreign minister in over a decade, according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
The Israeli Embassy in Cairo said on Twitter that Ashkenazi’s visit is the first for a top Israeli diplomat since 2008.
AFP, AP contributed to this report