The Wash

Protesters criticize Biden in march to White House in support of Palestine

Protest with police line
By Nick Fogleman/ The Wash

Protesters took to the streets of D.C. to show support for Gaza and Palestine in the wake of a devastating war between Israel and Hamas. Thousands in Palestine and Israel have been killed and injured since last week.

The rain Saturday did not discourage nearly a thousand protesters from marching in Downtown D.C. to show support for Gaza and the Palestinian people. The crowd from afar was a sea of red, green, black and white— the colors of the Palestinian flag. 

Demonstrators dawned keffiyehs, flags and traditional Palestinian garb as they chanted “Cease fire now” and “Free free Palestine.” 

American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) organized the march to support the Palestinian people in the wake of the conflict between Hamas and Israel. Taher Herzallah, a member of AMP, helped lead the protesters. 

“We gather today under the raindrops as our families in Gaza are enduring the drops of missiles on their homes,” Herzallah said. “This act of genocide that we are witnessing in real-time, all green-lit and supported by this White House right here, shame.”

Protesters march through D.C. (Nick Fogleman/The Wash)

The march started in Lafayette Square and circled the block, marching through the Black Lives Matter Plaza, finishing directly in front of the White House with the crowd chanting “Biden, Biden you can’t hide.”

Palestinian militants led by Hamas carried out a cross-border attack on Israel on October 7. Israel retaliated by attacking Gaza with missiles, killing civilians and military targets. 

Hamas has killed about 1,300 people in Israel as of Saturday, according to Israeli officials. Israel has killed about 2,000 people, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Moshe Rosen, a Jewish supporter of Palestine, said that he was there because the Israeli government’s actions did not reflect every Jewish person’s values. He supported Palestinians’ grievances with their treatment by the Israeli government. 

“There is a build-up of frustration, and it comes to a point where people say we tried a diplomatic way and it’s not working, and it explodes,” Rosen said. “In essence, you could call Gaza one of the largest prisons in the world.”

Rosen criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s actions towards the people in Gaza in response to the initial attack. 

(Nick Fogleman/The Wash)

“They just want to go home; they just want to live in peace,” Rosen said. Other Jewish protesters held signs that read, “U.S. Jews say Netanyahu and his far-right govt. do not represent us,” and “Israel does not speak for us.

“In no way of form what’s going on in Israel reflects on our Jewish values,” Rosen said. “Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Judaism, Israel and Judaism are separate.”

Gaza has faced economic hardships and has lacked necessities like food, water and medical care for about 16 years under an Israeli blockade, according to UNICEF. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on October 9 vowed a “complete siege” of Gaza and cut off all the entry of supplies, fuel and humanitarian aid to the 2.3 million people living in the strip.

An Egyptian-American Christian, Ian Tennison, chanted with the demonstrators and said this was a human rights issue. He said he stands with Palestinians who are affected by Israel’s response. 

“I’m out here to show the Palestinians that other Arabs are listening, other Arabs are with you,” Tennison said. “Many American Jews are on our side because they rightfully acknowledge that genocide, apartheid, settler colonialism are not Jewish values and in reality are things that they have been subjected to for centuries.” 

Tennison said, “This is a war off of occupation, settler colonialism,” and affects all Arabs, not just Palestinians.

Jinan Deena, a D.C. resident, joined the protest to stand in solidarity with her family, who is sheltering in the West Bank.

(Nick Fogleman/The Wash)

“I’m protesting for the freedom and liberation of the Palestinian people and we need an immediate ceasefire, we need humanitarian aid to reach Gaza,” Deena said. “We just want people to understand that Palestinians are human, and as much as people are calling for peace, peace can not come without freedom.”

Deena said people not familiar with the history of Palestine need to understand the conflict did not begin just this month.

“Palestinians have been under occupation for 75 years,” Deena said. “They have been brutalized, they have been ethnically cleansed, homes demolished, schools bombed, and I really want people to give humanity to the Palestinian people above all else.”

Israel has ordered the evacuation of roughly one million Palestinians in the northern part of Gaza. This has intensified the already devastating effects on its estimated two million citizens and is a step towards a reported ground invasion by Israeli troops. 

Nicholas Fogleman

Nick Fogleman is a journalist covering the Capitol Hill neighborhood for the Wash. He is currently pursuing a master's in Journalism and Public Affairs at American University.

Dima Amro

Dima Amro is a reporter for The Wash covering the Adams Morgan neighborhood. She is an investigative journalism graduate student at American University. Prior to that, she worked at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee.


    • Yes I was there and I am sure there were close to 10,000 people, it was one of the larges I have seen in a while, I am not sure why they are saying only a 1000, unless it’s a typo

  • Thank you Nichola Foglman and Dima Amro for doing you job professionally. I thought that all journalists are ideologically corrupt once it comes to Israelis affairs. The 3 interviews you reported represent the main ideas we all come out supporting equality and human right for everyone including the Palestinians that have been under a brutal occupation for more than 75 years. I have lost faith in the main American media, thanks again

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