Several hundred demonstrators in Tel Aviv joined hundreds of thousands of people in some 20 countries around the world protesting in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, held a day after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.
Gathering in front of the US Embassy on Saturday evening, the predominantly female crowd waved banners with slogans such as “Hate does not make America great,” “Love Trumps hate,” “resistance has no borders” and several with references to lewd remarks about women made by Trump in the past, with various “pussy” references.
One of the organizers of the rally was Pantsuit Nation-Israel, part of a global Facebook movement founded in support of Hillary Clinton during the lead-up to the US presidential election.
“Pantsuit Nation-Israel invites anyone, regardless of faith, nationality, race, ethnicity and religion to stand with us in advocating for justice, freedom and tolerance, and to stand against the misogyny, antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism and corruption of Trump and his administration,” the event invitation read.
Pantsuit Nation-Israel was part of a coalition planning the post-inauguration rally, which included groups All That’s Left and If Not Now. “Now is a time for us to come together and work to resist Trump and his ideology. There is a lot of work to be done, and we are stronger together,” they stated.
“We are here to say, we have an important voice. A unique American-Israeli voice that is rooted in the history of the discrimination of our people that can and will stand up to the bigotry and demonization of others and say loudly and clearly that Trump is not good for Israel, or for anyone,” Pantsuit-Nation Israel founder Mindy Goldberg told the crowd, to loud applause.
With high energy, demonstrators enthusiastically chanted slogans such as “Love united will never be divided” and “To be a Jew is to demand rights.”
In addition to women’s rights, demonstrators and speakers also spoke out against antisemitism and in support of gay rights and Palestinian rights.
Among the crowd was a group of young international students studying at the Eastern Mediterranean International School in Hakfar Hayarok. “We all really wanted to come to support and to make a change,” said Swedish student Nora Kettner, noting that the school the students attend focuses on promoting peace. “I really believe to be in action can make a difference... right now my sister and mother are protesting the same thing in Stockholm and I think it’s really nice that we are all doing it together, even though we are in different countries,” said Kettner.
“I’m here to make sure that my voice is heard,” said American-Israeli citizen Stacey Katz. “While we can’t do anything about Trump being elected at this point, we need to ensure that our voices are heard and never stop giving our opinions. Now is a crucial time – we are electing cabinet [members] and I want to make sure it’s not ruining everything that’s been built in the last 50 years in the US.”
As a world leader, the US, “with the current policy and direction, it seems that Trump is going to take a step back and only pay attention to the US and I think that would be a huge mistake,” she added.
“I’m here to show solidarity with the women of America who are marching all over the country to protest all of the horrible things that are threatening to be done to women,” said Rebecca Montag, a US citizen living in Israel. “All of the things that Donald Trump said, all of things that women everywhere are afraid will happen and have already started happening with birth control, Planned Parenthood and all of the programs Trump is threatening to de-fund – I want to stand in solidarity with all the women there – with my sister, my mother, my friends who are scared. “I think it’s a beautiful thing that women all over the world are marching in solidarity with the women in America and right now the movement is huge – this a continuous fight,” she added, noting that the challenge would be to see if the momentum continues.
“Trump is an illegitimate president,” said American-Israeli protester Zohar Friedman, referencing reports of Russia meddling in the US elections. “His policies are repugnant and I want to stand in solidarity with people all over the world who are terrified of this assault on values and decency.”