Thousands Gather at U.S. Capitol for ‘No Fear’ Rally Against Antisemitism
July 12, 2021
Around 3,000 people from across the religious and political spectrum gathered on the National Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, in a powerful display of unity against rising antisemitism.
The “NO FEAR: A Rally in Solidarity with the Jewish People” — of which the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) was a proud co-sponsor — was organized following the disturbing surge of Jew-hatred worldwide that accompanied the Israel-Gaza flare-up in May, which included physical assaults, vandalism, verbal harassment, and hate speech targeting Jews and Jewish institutions across the globe.
The event’s main organizer was Elisha Wiesel, son of late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel.
Addressing the crowd, Elisha Wiesel said, “Looking out at all of you today it becomes clear that instead of dividing us, the enemies of the Jewish people, whether from the right or the left, at home or abroad, they have instead united us.”
“Here we stand, a coalition of Jews and our allies from all backgrounds, all political beliefs, and all religious affiliations, who have come together to stand up to antisemitism,” he added. “This coalition will not be silenced whether Jews are facing violence in Los Angeles, or Brooklyn, or Paris or Tel Aviv. It won’t be silent whether Jews are being attacked in our synagogues, on our streets, on our campuses, or on the floor of the House of Representatives.”
The rally featured a distinguished speakers lineup of political, spiritual, and cultural leaders, as well as grassroots community activists, delivering stirring messages against hate.
“We will not let [antisemitism] happen here in the United States of America,” said media personality Meghan McCain, daughter of the late U.S. Senator John McCain. “We cannot be quiet, we cannot be silent, and first and foremost above all else, we cannot be scared. I’m here to tell all of you, you’re not alone… I’m not Jewish, but I can see how scary it is.”
Several victims of recent antisemitic violence — including Rabbi Shlomo Noginski, who was stabbed in Boston earlier this month, and Matthew Haverim, who was assaulted at a Los Angeles restaurant in May — also took the stage to share their terrifying experiences.
“Last week, my body was injured, and I still need a lot of medication and treatment, but my soul and my spirit are strong,” Rabbi Noginski said. “We will defend ourselves, we will fight antisemitism, we will emerge with our heads held high … but our true answer is that we will love one another through expressions and acts of consideration and kindness.”
CAM Executive Director Sacha Roytman-Dratwa stated, “Today’s event sent a powerful message that Jew-hatred simply will not be tolerated. Jews from across the religious and political spectrum are ready to take action as one, to ensure that antisemitism is not allowed to flourish.”
“Perhaps the most important step towards achieving this, is to encourage states, colleges, sports franchises and other institutions to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism,” he noted. “Clearly defining antisemitism, understanding what Jew-hatred actually is, constitutes the necessary first step towards stamping it out.”
The full rally can be watched here.