UPDATE at Noon CST on Nov. 14, 2023: Members of the Milwaukee area’s Jewish community, joined by WTMJ’s Vince Vitrano, have arrived at Capitol Hill following a long morning commute from Mitchell Airport through Baltimore en route to Washington D.C. for today’s March for Israel’ rally.
This is a developing story. New details will be provided throughout the day as Vince reports back to the Newsradio 620 WTMJ Newsroom.
UPDATE at 8:45 a.m. — Vince reports the plane has landed in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Milwaukee delegation will now be bused to the rally in Washington. The group has been instructed how they will handle any potential counter-protests, with a clear message to not engage.
“One of the people on the trip said ‘There’s not the possibility for any sort of meaningful exchange here, in terms of dialogue…it’s not going to happen on the street with people shouting at each other, so let’s not do that today,” Vince told Wisconsin’s Morning News.
MILWAUKEE — With anticipation and tension in the air Tuesday morning, a delegation of Milwaukee’s Jewish community boarded a charter flight at Mitchell International Airport headed to the nation’s capital for a planned rally in the wake of the Israeli conflict against Hamas.
WTMJ’s Vince Vitrano reports that members of the delegation are expecting more than 200,000 people to congregate on the capital’s National Mall today, where counter-protesters are also expected to be present. Organizers have told the delegation not to engage with that crowd, but to instead focus on the message of releasing American and Israeli hostages and an end to antisemitism.
Rabbi Shari Shamah, one of 180 people on the flight from Milwaukee tells WTMJ there’s a bit of anxiety amongst the group because they’re not sure what, or who, they’ll encounter in D.C. But there’s also a sense of pride. “We are united for Israel, we are united to release the hostages, and we are united to combat antisemitism.”
Harry & Samson Rose Jewish Community Center President and CEO Mark Shapiro told Wisconsin’s Morning News Monday the rally also intends to show the community’s strength in numbers, in an effort to push for more action from the U.S. government to safely return the nine Americans still missing in the region. “The Jewish world is a global Jewish world…I think the message that’s trying to get out there is ‘Israel has the right to exist, it has the right to defend itself, and there are people standing up for Israel.'”
Vince will be reporting on the rally throughout the day on WTMJ.
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