Hundreds of people rallied Saturday in Washington in support of the Palestinian people and to call for an end to the US aid to the occupying state of Israel.
The demonstration, which took place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, saw protesters waving flags of Palestine and chanting slogans that condemned the Israeli aggression on Gaza and urged the US administration to halt aid to Israel.
“We are hoping to send a clear message to the United States government that the days of supporting the Israeli state without repercussions are over,” one of the demonstrators, 39-year-old Washington lawyer Sharif Silmi, told reporters as he stood in the crowd where many protesters held red, white, green and black Palestinian flags.
“We will stand against any politician that continues to fund weapons to Israel. We will oppose them, we will vote against them, we will fund their opponents, until we vote them out of office,” Silmi said.
Lama Alahmad, a resident of neighboring Virginia who is of Palestinian origin, said that US public opinion is turning in favor of the Palestinian cause.
“There is a huge change” going on in the US with regard to the Palestinian cause to secure a sovereign homeland, Alahmad said.
“We just want the world to recognize that we are human beings. We are not terrorists,” said Alahmad, a 43-year-old stay-at-home mother who grew up in the United Arab Emirates before moving to the U.S. about 20 years ago.
Silmi insisted there was growing opposition in the US to how Israel treats the Palestinians, which he likened to apartheid in South Africa.
“People have now woken up, and we’re resisting. Whether young Jews, young Muslims, young Blacks, young whites, there is a generational shift. And people are working across ethnic groups, racial groups, to work for change and freedom and liberation for Palestinian people,” Silmi said.