Protesters Rally at US Capitol, Calling for Ceasefire in Israel Conflict

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Protesters who want to end the conflict between Israel and Hamas marched to our nation’s Capitol building, demanding a ceasefire and humanitarian aid to Gaza. Many of the protesters were arrested following a sit-in demonstration. 

People with the group Jewish Voice for Peace, a progressive Jewish anti-Zionist organization, helped organize a rally on the national mall. They are devastated by the conflict between Israel and Hamas. People we spoke with worry even more suffering will happen if there are no humanitarian solutions. 

“Gaza has 2.2 million people and 1.1 million of them were ordered to evacuate them from their homes from the state of Israel,” said Jewish Voice for Peace organizer, Jay Saper. “These people have had their water turned off, electricity turned off, these people need medical supplies. It’s essential humanitarian aid be let into Gaza now. 

The protesters took their protest to the street and marched towards the Capitol. They wanted lawmaker to hear their calls for a ceasefire.  

The group shut down streets by the Capitol and prompted an increased police presence. Many were even arrested. Capitol Police said demonstrations are not allowed inside congressional buildings. Some were also arrested and charged with assault on a police officer during processing. 

“I’m an American Jew, I live in Brooklyn, grew up in New York and I really want to support a ceasefire,” said Will, a protester. “Millions of lives are at risk if Israel has a ground offensive in Gaza and I think those lives are equally valuable as those in Israel. I am coming out here today to support humanitarian solutions and for the US to think mindfully in the role the US plays in greater military armament.” 

Over in Israel, President Biden announced on Wednesday an agreement has been made to allow humanitarian aid to move from Egypt to Gaza including one hundred million dollars to help with civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. According to sources, humanitarian aid has been stuck at Egypt’s border with Gaza. While the Biden administration keeps reiterating that they support Israel, the president also said the vast majority of Palestinians are not Hamas and Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people.  

“I hope people can look at this beyond their political motivations and look at this as humans and see people are suffering and do what we can to help them,” said Jordan, a protester.