Keeping Up the Pressure

Trone speaks at Washington JCRC’s second Qatar Embassy event

‘We’ve got to get these hostages back and we’ve got to all stand together and implore Qatar to step up, use their political muscle and do the right thing,’ the Maryland Senate candidate said on Friday

Marc Rod

Rep. David Trone (D-MD) addresses a crowd of about 100 outside the Qatar Embassy in Washington on Friday. He urged the Qataris to use their "leverage" with Hamas to help win the release of the hostages held in Gaza.

Rep. David Trone (D-MD) called on Qatar to push harder on Hamas to release the hostages held in Gaza at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington’s rally outside the Qatari Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Friday, the JCRC’s second such event in recent days.

Trone, a candidate for Senate in Maryland, is the third member of Congress to join the gatherings, following Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Glenn Ivey (D-MD) last week. The event was the D.C. JCRC’s second outside the Qatari Embassy, and came in concert with similar gatherings at the Qatari Consulate in New York and the Qatari Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, also organized by the local JCRC and federation, respectively.

“We know the Qatari Embassy can help us here, and we’re here to implore the Qatari Embassy to use their leverage, use the leverage of the [Hamas] political office in Doha, use their leverage to help us bring these hostages home,” Trone told the gathered crowd of roughly 100.

Trone also expressed appreciation for Qatar’s role in the hostage relief efforts so far — a similar tone to that struck by the JCRC’s previous gathering last Monday.

“We’ve got to get these hostages back, and we’ve got to all stand together and implore Qatar to step up, use their political muscle and do the right thing,” he continued. “Bring the hostages home. Never again.”

The Maryland congressman also said, “We call for a cease-fire. We must have a cease-fire. We must have that cease-fire with simultaneous return of our hostages. 

“And after the hostage return, then we can help create a two-state solution and rebuild Gaza. Because a Palestinian life is no different than an Israeli life,” he continued.

This week’s event was marked by both supportive honks and jeers from passersby. And unlike during previous events at the embassy, someone inside seemed to be watching: a man on the building’s second floor, directly above the front gate where the group had gathered, could be seen briefly filming or taking photos of the group on his phone.

Friday’s event also included remarks from Norman Goldstein, the uncle of hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin; Natalie Sanandaji, a survivor of the Nova music festival massacre; Alan Gross, who was held hostage in Cuba and spoke at last week’s event as well; and JCRC leadership and local clergy.

“We must continue and increase our efforts to implore the Qatari government, which plays a unique and critical role in this most complex situation, to continue and increase the much-appreciated efforts to bring the hostages home,” Goldstein said. “This is not a partisan issue. It is not a political issue. It is a humanitarian issue.”

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