CNN — Since October 7, large, pulsing crowds have gathered at rallies around the world, with signs above their heads and chants on their lips, to convey their simmering frustration, outrage and fear over the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Hamas and the resulting casualties.

On a sunny, cold and breezy Tuesday, pro-Israel demonstrators gathered on Washington, DC’s National Mall, decked in the blue and white colors of the Israeli flag, and called for Hamas to free its hostages, expressed concerns about rising antisemitism in the US and pushed for American policies to remain steadfast toward Israel.

“As Jews, we don’t want to feel alone. And we have often throughout our history felt isolated,” said Adam Roffman, a rabbi with Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas who attended Tuesday’s rally in DC with his wife, Rabbi Shira Wallach.

“And just the opportunity to stand here with not just Jews, but supporters of Israel, after a very, very difficult and emotionally gut-wrenching month fills us with such hope and joy to really just see so many people here who care about our brothers and sisters in Israel and care about the future of Israel as a vibrant home for the Jewish people.”

Days earlier, at a pro-Palestinian event last Friday night in New York City’s Columbus Circle, demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and carried homemade signs reading “Cease Fire Now!” and “Stop bombing kids,” as they marched to Grand Central Terminal and Times Square. They criticized Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and accused the country of apartheid and genocide, pushed for a ceasefire in Israel’s military campaign and challenged American leaders to end their support for Israel.

“I go through periods of extreme distress and anguish and sadness over what’s happening,” Laila Rodenbeck, a 24-year-old who attended Friday’s rally, told CNN. “It’s only when I attend one of these rallies that I come back feeling a little bit more hopeful that the tides are starting to change.”

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