The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reportedly elevated the security status for the upcoming ‘March for Israel’ in Washington, D.C., to a Level 1 security event against Pro-Hamas rioters and sympathizers.
This designation is the highest rating of risk assessment, indicating the event’s significant national and international importance. Such a designation is typically reserved for major events like the Super Bowl and involves extensive federal interagency security and incident management preparedness, according to ABC News.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas approved this designation, reflecting the heightened security concerns surrounding the event. In response, the FBI and DHS have issued a Joint Special Threat Assessment to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
The National Guard will be supporting the D.C. Police in managing crowds and implementing road closures for the scheduled pro-Israeli rally on Tuesday.
This assessment, obtained by ABC News, highlights that while there is no specific, actionable threat to the March for Israel, there is a general concern about potential violence, especially considering the ongoing Israel-HAMAS conflict.
“Since the 7 October attacks in Israel, we have observed an increase in threats to these communities, including reports of physical assaults, bomb threats, and online calls for mass casualty attacks. Tensions related to the ongoing Israel–HAMAS conflict, coupled with the widespread sharing of graphic and disturbing content related to this conflict, increase the prospects for violence in the United States with little to no warning,” the assessment read.
It added that “[s]pecial events with significant attendance and media coverage, like the March for Israel, remain an attractive target for foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), homegrown violent extremists (HVEs), and domestic violent extremists (DVEs).”
“High-profile events can draw individuals and groups wanting to engage in First Amendment-protected activities. These individuals, groups, law enforcement, and security elements may be targeted by malicious actors looking for targets of opportunity to perpetrate targeted violence and criminal schemes. Lone actors interested in targeted violence remain a concern.”
The March for Israel is a national rally in support of Israel, for the release of hostages, and against antisemitism. The program begins at 1:00 PM, and doors open at 10:00 AM. The pre-program event begins at 11:30 AM, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
A large turnout of around 100,000 attendees is expected at the event.
North Carolinians Against Antisemitism will join the event.
In response to rising Jew-hatred and anti-Israel sentiment, North Carolinians Against Antisemitism will join many national Jewish organizations at the “March for Israel” rally on November 14th in DC!
Contact us if you’re interested in joining us! pic.twitter.com/gT0y4A2Ouk
— Sloan Rachmuth (@SloanRachmuth) November 13, 2023
Chaya Raichik, the creator behind Libs of TikTok, will also attend the event.
I’ll be in DC tomorrow for the March for Israel! Who else is joining? pic.twitter.com/X111aog0m1
— Chaya Raichik (@ChayaRaichik10) November 13, 2023
Rep. D’Esposito (R-NY) released a statement:
My statement on tomorrow’s planned “March for Israel” event happening in Washington, D.C.
Hope to see you all there. pic.twitter.com/poCcdet6mC
— Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (@RepDesposito) November 14, 2023
Rep. Gimenez (R-FL) also released a statement:
I was raised in Miami-Dade County alongside the Jewish-American community.
Whether as a firefighter, Commissioner, Mayor, or Member of Congress, I am proud to have worked with our Jewish community & support #Israel!
— Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez (@RepCarlos) November 13, 2023