House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and other members of Congress spoke at a pro-Israel rally at the National Mall in Washington DC on Tuesday, where demonstrators made clear their opposition to a ceasefire in Gaza.
Johnson called the idea of a ceasefire “outrageous,” prompting a chant of “no ceasefire” from the crowd. “Israel will cease their counteroffensive when Hamas ceases to be a threat to the Jewish state,” Johnson said.
The rally was a bipartisan affair, featuring speeches from Democratic members of Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY). Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) was spotted in the crowd draped in an Israeli flag.
In his speech, Torres declared that support for Israel was an American value. “The US-Israel relationship is not just a Democratic or Republican value. It’s not just a progressive or conservative value. It is an American value encoded in our national DNA,” he said.
Torres also expressed opposition to a ceasefire. “I want to be crystal clear: a ceasefire with a terrorist organization is not a peace agreement, it is a death sentence for Israelis,” he said.
Schumer expressed strong support for Israel, opening his speech by leading a chant of “We stand with Israel.” He said, “America feels your pain. We ache with you, we stand with you, and we will not rest until you get all the assistance you need.”
The rally came amid Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza, which has killed at least over 11,000 Palestinians, including over 4,500 children. The numbers are considered to be low as thousands more are trapped under the rubble, and Gaza’s Health Ministry has not been putting out as many updates due to a breakdown of communications as many of the enclave’s hospitals have ceased to function.