Hundreds rally in Jerusalem against antisemitism

Chanting "Am Yisrael Chai" and singing songs about strength and no fear, the attendees made it clear they will not be intimidated by hatred and that they stand with the Jews of the Diaspora.

Attendees of the "No Hate No Fear" rally against antisemitism, Jerusalem, January 5, 2020 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Attendees of the "No Hate No Fear" rally against antisemitism, Jerusalem, January 5, 2020
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Holding placards and signs calling for an end to hate, hundreds of people gathered outside the Jewish Agency for Israel’s offices in Jerusalem to rally against antisemitism on Sunday evening.
The No Hate, No Fear rally, organizers by JAFI, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), took place in parallel to the march in Manhattan and Brooklyn organized by UJA-Federation of New York.
Chanting “Am Yisrael Chai” and singing songs about strength and no fear, the attendees made it clear they will not be intimidated by hatred and that they stand with the Jews of New York and the Diaspora.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed similar views, saying that "We will not waver in our fight against antisemitism and hate." 
Several signs had the words, “Love Your Neighbor as You Love Yourself” written in Hebrew while others waved Israeli flags and held placards with the words, “No hate, No fear.”
New Yorker Hannah Platovsky, who is in Israel on a gap year, was moved to see the solidarity being shown for her fellow Jews back home.
“I’m distraught about what’s going on. I was speaking to my Dad, and he said to me that he’s not sure if I should come back to New York after my gap year,” she said. “It’s not safe. You can’t even go to the grocery store without being yelled at… Something has to be done to stop this, and to make it safe for Jews, so that they can be confident and don’t have to live in fear of antisemitism.”
Attending the rally was Eitan Sermoneta, who is originally from Italy and is currently studying in a mechina program.
He told The Jerusalem Post that “It’s important to be here because we need to let the world see that we as Jews are not afraid.
“We will fight against hate and antisemitism with our last bit of strength,” he said. “We need to focus more on not attacking each other and focus on the Jewish people being one nation. We are at our weakest when we are split.”
Batya Bernstein of Zichron Ya’acov expressed, “We are all part of the Jewish nation. We have to show unity in these times. We will not surrender. We in Israel are here to help and support the Jews in New York and around the world.”
She added, “we are thinking of the victims [of antisemitism] and their families.”
For student Ido Zamir from Rehovot, being at the rally “shows solidarity and respect for what is happening [in New York].”
He urged Diaspora Jews not to give up, and called for all Jews in Israel and around the world “to stand together in this fight against hatred. We need to remember that every person is a human being, and people should not be attacked or killed because of their religion.”
Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog told the crowd that “today, thousands are marching in the streets of New York against the hatred and deadly antisemitism that has been unleashed against the Jewish people in New York and around the world.
“Jews are not as safe on the streets of the United States as they were in the past, and hatred and antisemitism are spreading across borders and continents,” he said. “From here, in Jerusalem... we send a message of solidarity to our sisters and brothers in the United States.”
Herzog told the Post that he was inspired and overwhelmed by the turnout to the Jerusalem rally.
In a message to those facing antisemitism and hatred, Herzog stressed that no one “should feel harassed or frightened because they are Jewish.
“We are here in this fight together,” he said.
WZO vice chairman Yaakov Hagoel addressed the rally saying that “in times of crisis, we were used in the State of Israel to lovingly receive unrestricted support from the Diaspora Jewry.
“Today, from the capital of the Jewish people, we stand here in solidarity with the Diaspora Jewry as one people and say together: We are not afraid! We are here to inspire the world. We are here to say... enough antisemitism, enough hate, enough fear.”
He made it clear that “our strength is in our unity. We stand together with Diaspora Jewry and with a clear and unified voice. We call for the end of antisemitism.
“Raise your head with Jewish pride. Hatred stops here,” Hagoel added.
Amira Ahronoviz, the Jewish Agency’s first woman CEO, told the Post that “regardless of where we live, all of us are here for one another.
“When a Jew is attacked in the Diaspora, it is just as bad as when an Israeli is attacked,” she said, adding that just as “our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora” have continued to show support for Israel, “we are standing here today condemning this hatred. It’s the least we can do.”
Uri Leventer-Roberts, executive director of the Israel office of the UJA-Federation of New York, explained that this rally in Israel shows “the two-way reaction of solidarity. We’re so used to the US marching with Israel, we’re used to being on the receiving end. But here we are standing up in public and saying ‘we are supporting you,’ which is really symbolic. This is the way for us to say that ‘yes, Israel is a strong Jewish center, but when the other side is facing these issues, it’s no longer a one way street.’”
Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel director general, Rebecca Caspi said that “antisemitic incidents are at all-time record highs and there have been multiple assaults on Jewish communities in the last 24 months.
"We must do more to meet the Jewish community’s growing needs—and we will,” she said.
The rally concluded with the mass singing of the national anthem, Hatikvah.


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