US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson on Tuesday attended a pro-Israel rally in Washington and termed the calls for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip “outrageous”.
“The calls for a ceasefire are outrageous,” Johnson said, as tens of thousands of demonstrators chanted “no ceasefire” slogans at the rally. They had gathered in Washington for a “March for Israel” to show solidarity with Israel in its war with Hamas and condemn rising antisemitism.
Johnson also referred to Hamas as “barbaric”. However, the Republican leader did not speak about any plans to provide financial aid to Israel in its war with Hamas.
Mike Johnson was elected the US House of Representatives Speaker last month. The chair had been vacant since Kevin McCarthy was ousted on October 3 by a small group of hardline Republicans.
Busloads of senators and members of the House of Representatives attended the pro-Israel rally in Washington.
“Hamas’s goal was to scare us. Those perpetrating the poison of antisemitism and bigotry around the world are trying to scare us,” said Senator Charles Schumer, the Senate’s Democratic majority leader.
“We will not allow history to slide back to the days of the Holocaust when Jews were targeted and murdered and butchered,” he added.
The US government has rebuffed calls for a ceasefire but has urged Israel to grant pauses in the fighting for civilians to move to safer locations and for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.