‘A whole lot at stake’ in US aid package to Israel, AJC head says

The rally sends the message to Washington “that we’re appreciative for the support for Israel and for the Jewish community, but that we need to see even more,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch.

From left: Randall Kaplan, husband of Rep. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.); Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women; Manning; Ted Deutch, CEO of the American Jewish Committee; actress Debra Messing; and Jill Deutch, wife of Ted Deutch, at the March for Israel Rally in Washington D.C. Nov. 14, 2023
Photo: Courtesy AJC

JNS Staff Report
November 15, 2023

The entire country needs to stand with the U.S. Jewish community in the aftermath of Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attacks on Israel, Ted Deutch, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, said on Nov. 14.

Deutch spoke with JNS on the sidelines of the “March for Israel” rally that drew nearly 300,000 people to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Organizers said that another 250,000 watched the event online.

The Oct. 7 massacre was an attack on Israel and on “who we are as a civilization,” according to Deutch.

“It’s not just the Jewish people. It’s people around the world that should feel the impact of what happened on Oct. 7 and should understand the need for Israel to act to defend itself,” he told JNS. “We’ve engaged with lots of people from lots of different walks of life, here and certainly since Oct. 7.”

“We need them to stand with us, just as the Jewish community so often has stood with other communities who needed our support,” he said.

Joel Schwitzer, AJC Dallas director, was among the 300,000 people and 250 Dallasites at the March for Israel in Washington D.C. Nov. 14, 2023. Photo: Courtesy

Deutch, who recently returned from a trip to Israel, said that Israeli President Isaac Herzog told him that Israel needs all the support from the United States that it could get.

“We asked, ‘What can we do to be most helpful?’” Deutch said. “He just looked at us and said, ‘Everything. You need to do everything.’ And that’s really what this is about. It’s about looking to do everything we can to help Israel.”

While the U.S. aid package for Israel that is currently stalled in Congress is important for supporting Israel’s battle against Hamas, it’s also a signal of U.S. resolve in the worldwide battle against Jew-hatred.

“It’s about the United States’s commitment to this battle between good and evil,” he said. “When the aid package moves forward, it won’t just send a message to Israel, it sends a message to Iran. It sends a message to countries around the world who are watching this and waiting to see what Congress does.”

“It sends a message to the antisemites in America who marched in the streets in support of Hamas terrorists. There’s a whole lot at stake in that package,” he said.

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