Melissa Landa

In my capacity as the director of the nonprofit group Alliance for Israel, I hear many stories from across the United States of people who have been ostracized and attacked for their public displays of Judaism and Zionism. Hearing those stories, coupled with the more violent attacks that made national headlines, I recognized that grave dangers faced the Jewish community. However, it was the threat from within that troubled me more.

Despite egregious physical and verbal attacks against Jews that warranted swift and unequivocal condemnation, the Jewish community appeared to be divided in its views of when and how to respond. The result was a fragmented community suffering from internal discord and low morale—a vulnerable target for those wishing to do it harm.

It was this fear that prompted me to act: With the help of two colleagues, I began to organize a rally, despite having no funding, being in the middle of a hot Washington summer and having been warned that only a few hundred people would attend. We incorporated a slogan into the name of the rally, calling it “No Fear: A Rally in Solidarity With the Jewish People.”