Up until a ceasefire: Constant demonstrations shake the Israeli Embassy and the surrounding area.

Every morning, the demonstrators face the Israeli embassy with their megaphones, blasting a siren sound loud enough to be heard a block away. Additionally, they occasionally exclaim “Wicked!” into microphones. “Racist!” and “You’re a shame!”

At least one protestor donned earplugs on Wednesday.

The demonstrators are entrenched outside the main door of the embassy. Snacks, body cameras, and audio equipment have been piled up on tables and in clearly marked plastic containers. A fresh batch of protestors shows up every evening. They sit in lawn chairs close to a makeshift memorial of candles and flowers honoring Aaron Bushnell, the American Airman who died a month ago after setting himself on fire in the embassy driveway while yelling “Free Palestine,” as they turn off the sirens.A year prior, Jews dissatisfied with a set of judicial measures supported by Israel’s right-wing government had staged sporadic protests at the embassy, which is located in a primarily residential area of Washington, D.C. But the embassy has been the scene of constant protests over the war for the past month, following Bushnell’s passing.
The pavements in front of and to the side of the building are covered in more than thirty Palestinian flags and placards depicting injured children with the phrases “Israel Bombs Babies” and “Israel Steals Land.”

Protesters claim they take care to observe the laws governing demonstrations. However, one demonstrator did so on Wednesday morning when she wrote “Embassy of Genocide” in chalk on a section of the sidewalk that had been marked off with police tape. After they drove her away, another protester played on a drum set in front of the embassy.

Hazami Barmada, 40, responded, “Four weeks, 24/7 — since Bushnell’s self-immolation,” when asked on Wednesday how long she and other protestors had been holding their demonstrations.

They intend to carry on “until a ceasefire.”
When the sirens are turned off, protesters—typically no more than ten at a time—remain on the sidewalks outside the embassy day and night. It’s an especially ardent branch of the anti-Israeli rallies that have taken over the United States, which are a reaction to the Oct. 7 attack in which Hamas killed 1,200 people and kidnapped 240 more in Israel. The Gaza Health Ministry reports that over 32,000 Palestinians have died as a result of Israel’s military onslaught.The majority of the demonstrators, though not all of them, are youthful, and they wear T-shirts or keffiyehs that declare their support for the Palestinian cause. Some people, they claimed, wear body cameras to capture the moments when they are harassed by counterprotesters who arrive there.

Both the Secret Service and the local police force have increased their presence outside the embassy due to the ongoing protests. On Wednesday morning, about seven of them patrolled close to the demonstrators. Officers occasionally outnumber protestors.Barmada, whose family is from the West Bank’s Nablus, was one of the few demonstrators who agreed to talk to me during my three days at the embassy. She did not want to disclose the identity of the “grassroots” group from which the protestors are members. During her journey to the West Bank, she claimed to have witnessed the harassment her mother had faced from Israelis.

She declared, “We want freedom, justice, and liberties for your own children and my own children for every person in this world, including Palestinians.”The posters and slogans of the organized protests accuse Israel, not the Jews, of stealing land and committing genocide. However, some proponents of other ideologies have also joined the protest, such as the man who showed up wearing a MAGA hat and the person who put up a banner on Wednesday that read, “Jewish people tried to kill in a guy in a wheelchair with a machete.” He made up conspiracy notions regarding Jews during an interview.Given that a senior Israeli official recently stated that the war will go on “even if the entire world turns on Israel, including the United States,” it seems unlikely that the embassy protests will have much of an impact on how it plays out. Measuring its effect within the neighborhood is a little simpler.

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