More than 130 Muslim organizations and their acolytes converged on Washington, D.C, on May 29 to participate in the National March for Palestine. In spite of the enormous number of hosting groups, it was a relatively small crowd that marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol, ostensibly to protest excessive force used by Israel in the Gaza Strip during its recent 11-day conflict with Hamas. The rally was intended to be the flagship event for a new Islamist-led campaign calling on the government to sanction Israel and end American financial support to the Jewish state.
As usual, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chimed in. Nihad Awad called on the gathering of "brothers and sisters ... to hold the U.S. government accountable in its complicity with the war crimes that Israel has committed against the defenseless Palestinian people." He then asked onlookers to pledge financial support to political candidates and organizations who favor Palestine, and to unseat members of Congress who support Israel. ...
The rest of the speeches followed a tired, similar theme.
The 130 hosting organizations drew an average of no more than eight people each to the rally.
According to Voice of America (VOA), the size of the attending crowd exceeded 1,000 people. On the other hand, Mondoweiss referred to the gathering as "the largest protest against U.S. foreign policy in the nation's capital in decades," claiming there were more than 35,000 in attendance. A photo shared by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee illustrates that VOA's estimates were the more accurate.
The 130 hosting organizations struggled to muster enough participation from around the country to bring an average of no more than eight people each. It appears grassroots support fell short of the hosting Islamist organizations' expectations. ...
The tiny crowd size shows that Islamists continue to lack the support of ordinary American Muslims.
[T]he National March for Palestine appeared—perhaps as expected—merely a propagandist event designed by an array of international Islamist movements and a selection of foolish fellow travelers.
Will the demands of this group of race-baiting Islamist activists and their acolytes actually reach the ears of anyone in the Biden administration, compelling him to sanction Israel and cut funding to the Jewish state? Time will tell. But given the tiny crowd size, the administration would be foolish to listen to the agenda of a small but aggressive American Islamist cabal that continues to lack the support of ordinary American Muslims.
J.M. Phelps is a writer for Islamist Watch, a project of Middle East Forum.