WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pro-Israel advocates from across the U.S. gathered in the nation's capital to demonstrate against antisemitism during the Israel-Hamas war.
"This is the first time in my life that I honestly don't really feel safe being Jewish," Nick, who attended the event with his father, told Fox News.
"We felt a bit nervous coming out here, but we thought we can't let that fear kind of guide us. We have to just go out and represent what we believe in."
Demonstrators dressed themselves in American and Israeli flags Wednesday as they congregated at the National Mall for the March for Israel.
Demonstrators showed support for hostages taken in the Israel-Hamas war and condemned antisemitism.
The Jewish Federations of North America, the nonprofit organizer of the rally, said it was the largest pro-Israel gathering in U.S. history.
PRO-ISRAEL ACTIVISTS RECOUNT RECENT ATTACKS OF ANTISEMITISM:?
There were over 830 documented antisemitic incidents across the U.S. between Oct. 7, 2023, and Nov. 7, 2023, according to a recent Anti-Defamation League survey. That averages to nearly 28 antisemitic incidents a day.
"The antisemitism has always been around," Steve from Pennsylvania told Fox News, and it "always raises its ugly head when there's a conflict.
"Anti-Israel is just another name for antisemitism."
Another demonstrator described his experience going to work in Philadelphia.
"I work in City Hall of Philadelphia, and there are constant pro-Palestinian protests, and most of them are young people who may or may not realize what they're really protesting about," Ramy said. "They need to know that Jews have been oppressed for centuries, and we're going to fight back."
The mood swung between somber and jubilant as presenters recounted stories of resilience and the horrors of the Oct. 7 attack, which claimed the lives of over 1,200 Israelis. Meanwhile, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry claims more than 11,200 Gazans have been killed in the fighting.
Debra, who attended the rally from New York, told Fox News she had seen hostage posters she had hung around her neighborhood get "taken down."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, and newly-elected House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, both spoke at the rally.
"Although there has been a rise in antisemitism, there are a lot of people who are standing strong with the Jewish community," Elyssa told Fox News.
Carter, who traveled from Tennessee for the rally, agreed.
"The protests against Israel are a vocal minority," he said. "The majority of America stands with these people right here."
To watch the full interviews with demonstrators, click here.
Isabelle McDonnell contributed to the accompanying video.