A video taken at a Nov. 5 pro-Palestine protest in Rockville has gone viral and drawn the attention of politicians after it was posted Friday on X (formerly Twitter).
The video shows clips of a few pro-Israel counter-protestors using inflamed rhetoric in response to the protestors. It was posted on Nov. 10 and has around 886,000 views as of Tuesday.
One of the counter-protestors called Palestinians “animals,” “barbarians” and “murderers.” He also told them that “you are not welcome here” and “go back to where you came from.”
The video also shows two other Israel supporters using offensive terms to refer to the Palestinians.
A few people on the pro-Israel side said, “We’re going to live in Gaza,” the video shows.
Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson said he had the protests in Rockville and the University of Maryland in mind when he posted on social media on Nov. 10 that “I’ve seen images of deeply disturbing language used by demonstrators and counter-demonstrators,” and “Hate speech of any kind is absolutely unacceptable.”
The video was first posted on X by @LiteraryMouse, a county resident who told MoCo360 that she is not comfortable sharing her name. She said she recorded the video while she was at the protest, which “was sponsored by a multi-faith coalition calling for both a ceasefire and the release of civilian hostages.”
She added that it was expected to be a quiet rally, and she was quite surprised when the counter-protesters showed up.
More attention was given to the video when @RaefMusic, who frequently posts anti-Israel views, shared it on his X account. Rockville City Police Public Information Officer Andrea Escher confirmed via email that Rockville City Police “assisted the Montgomery County Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office during a constitutionally protected First Amendment event” at that location and time.
“RCPD is committed to maintaining order and will continue to work with allied agencies at all First Amendment events which occur within the city,” Escher wrote.
This is part of a string of recent demonstrations. On Tuesday, there was a March for Israel in Washington, D.C.
On Nov. 9, dozens of students at Clarksburg High School participated in a walkout in support of Palestine, according to a letter from school principal Edward Owusu. The high school’s Student Government Association and Muslim Student Association hosted the walkout.
On Oct. 30, around 75 pro-Palestinian protestors gathered outside Sen. Ben Cardin’s office in Rockville to call for a ceasefire, WTOP reported.
A video from WTOP shows protestors chanting “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide,” “no more money for Israel’s crimes” and “hands off Gaza.”