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Tens of thousands gathered in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to show support for Israel. Amid the sea of supporters marching with Israeli and U.S. flags were Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. John Curtis.
At the rally, Curtis, a Republican who represents the 3rd District, said in a post X, formerly known as Twitter, that he met Ruby Chen, the father of Itay Chen, an Israeli-American dual citizen who is being held hostage by Hamas. Chen asked Curtis how many children he has. The Utah representative said he has six.
Then, Chen asked, “Do you know where they all slept last night?” Curtis responded that he did know.
“He became emotional describing that he didn’t know where Itay slept last night and he didn’t know what type of treatment his son was getting,” Curtis wrote in his post.
“I attended the march yesterday to prove our unwavering support for Israel, stand up against antisemitism, and bring these hostages home safely.”
Yesterday at the #MarchForIsrael, I met Ruby Chen, the father of Itay, who's being hostage held by Hamas. We talked about our families and Ruby asked me two questions:
Ruby: How many kids do you have?
I have six
Ruby: Do you know where they all slept last night?
He became… pic.twitter.com/6rMWDKpQBr
— Rep. John Curtis (@RepJohnCurtis) November 15, 2023
Romney also took to X and wrote that the U.S. wholeheartedly supports Israel, which, he said, “has the right to defend its democracy from Iran-backed Hamas terrorists.”
“Joined thousands of marchers on the National Mall to condemn antisemitism, call for the release of hostages, and proudly #StandWithIsrael,” he tweeted.
The United States wholeheartedly supports our ally Israel, which has the right to defend its democracy from Iran-backed Hamas terrorists. Joined thousands of marchers on the National Mall to condemn antisemitism, call for the release of hostages, and proudly #StandWithIsrael.🇺🇸🇮🇱 pic.twitter.com/L1G0CdhYXd
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) November 14, 2023
The same day as the rally, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on confronting antisemitism on college campuses.
As The New York Times reported, researchers say antisemitic content rose more than 919% on X and 28% on Facebook in the month since the Oct. 7 attack.
Utah Republican Rep. Burgess Owens, who chaired the hearing, said that the problem of antisemitism isn’t new.
“It has taken on various forms throughout history, the most noted prior to October 7th, were the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. Both will forever remain a stain in the annals of human history,” Owens said in his opening remarks. “While antisemitic speech might be free, it deserves our moral condemnation.”
Later in a post on X, Owens, who represents the 4th District, said that he was proud to see the gathering in Washington.
“America must send a message to the world: We stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel today, tomorrow, and always,” Owens said.