Photos by Suzanne Pollak and Melissa Apter.
Hundreds of people gathered on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol for a combination political rally, church revival that featured shofar blowing and loud boos following any remarks referring to Iran, President Barack Obama and any politician who supported the nuclear agreement with Iran.
The hours-long rally Sept. 8 in sweltering heat featured businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), another presidential contender, television personality Glenn Beck, former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin and “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson.
The event was sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots and the Zionist Organization of America.
Cruz, who walked to the podium accompanied by the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” called the Iran deal “catastrophic.” Not only would Iran get nuclear weapons, but with the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran “billions of these dollars will go directly to Hamas, Hezbollah” and other terrorist groups, Cruz told a cheering crowd.
If the deal goes through, “we know to an absolutely certainly, people will die.”
His political speech was followed by hyperbolic remarks by Trump, the crowd’s main draw, who “guaranteed” that if elected, the four hostages being held by Iran “will be back in our country before I even take office.”
If he is president, “We will have so much winning if I’m elected that you may bet bored with winning,” Trump told a jubilant audience. “We are going to make America great again.”
Another crowd favorite, Beck, quoted, not always correctly, from the Torah and referred numerous times to “truth” and “eternal truth.” He spoke out against the Iran deal, noting, “When someone says they will knock the face of the Jew off the earth, you should listen. They mean it.”
Former Minnesota Congressman Michele Bachmann advocated America’s bombing of Iran’s nuclear weapons facility. “Today, you start the process of bombing,” she said. “That doesn’t lead to war. It leads to peace.”
The speeches came in rapid fire, one immediately following the next. When someone spoke longer than their allowed few minutes, music was played, just like on television award shows.
Sarah Stern, president and founder of EMET and a Kemp Mill resident, said passage of the deal “will have implications” for generations to come.
Prior to the rally, about three hundred people attended a press conference nearby conducted by a delegation of Orthodox rabbis, who called for the defeat of the nuclear weapons deal.
Organized by the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, the outdoor event was designed to be reminiscent of a march by rabbis in 1943 in support of American and allied action to step the destruction of European Jewry.