Pursuit Church, Sean Feucht to hold pro-Israel rally at University of Southern California

Israel supporters, including Sean Feucht (C), participate in the United for Israel march outside of Columbia University on April 25, 2024 in New York City.
Israel supporters, including Sean Feucht (C), participate in the United for Israel march outside of Columbia University on April 25, 2024 in New York City. | Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

A Washington state church and Christian worship artist Sean Feucht will hold a pro-Israel rally at the University of Southern California on Wednesday as many pro-Palestinian protests and encampments have sprung up at college campuses around the country. 

The multi-campus Pursuit Church is joining various Jewish and Christian groups to hold the "United for Israel" march and rally at the Los Angeles-based campus, according to a statement.

The rally will begin off campus at Exposition Boulevard, between Figueroa Street and Vermont Avenue. Attendees will march to the campus for the conclusion of the demonstration.

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"Collaborating with Sean Feucht, Let Us Worship, Hold the Line, StandWithUs, and various Jewish and Christian groups, The Pursuit aims to provide a platform for the majority voice in America amidst concerning media portrayals influenced by minority extremist perspectives," the statement reads. 

"'Pursuit Church Pastor [Russell] Johnson emphasizes the rally's focus on essential issues, including Israel's right to self-defense, the immediate release of all remaining hostages, and the restoration of lasting peace in the region."

The Christian Post contacted Pursuit Church for this story. A spokesperson responded that they could not return comment by press time. 

The pro-Israel rally at USC will be held days after Los Angeles police and USC police cleared out a student encampment at the university on Sunday that was created in opposition to Israel's offensive in Gaza. University officials had issued multiple warnings to protesters to vacate the area before the clearing operation commenced. 

USC President Carol Folt said in a statement the protest had to be broken up because "the occupation was spiraling in a dangerous direction," as people were being harassed and parts of campus blocked.

"Areas of campus were blocked, people walking down Trousdale, our main thoroughfare, were harassed, and iconic Trojan symbols were defaced," Folt said.

"In addition, university property was stolen, and commencement structures were dismantled. Residence halls, campus throughfares, and libraries had become places of confrontation. Some finals were disrupted with noise and chanting during mandated quiet periods. Yesterday afternoon, outside agitators jumped the perimeter fencing and assaulted our officers."

The operation was "peaceful" with no arrests, Folt stated.

"Campus is opening, students are returning to prepare for finals, and commencement set-up is in full swing," she said. 

Another "United for Israel" March was held last month on the campus of Columbia University in New York City, where pro-Palestinian demonstrators set up an encampment on April 17. Authorities broke up the encampment last week, but not before demonstrators took over one of the campus buildings

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas, a terror group that has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, launched several attacks on Southern Israel, killing approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 hostages, some of whom were American citizens.

Israel responded to the attacks with extensive air strikes on the Gaza Strip and a ground offensive, with the stated goals of destroying Hamas and freeing the surviving hostages.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, over 34,000 Palestinians have been killed since last October. The ministry does not differentiate between armed militants and unarmed civilians.

Last month, the ministry reportedly admitted to having "incomplete data" on more than 11,000 of the deaths in its official tally, leading some to question the reliability of the numbers. 

Nevertheless, the war in Gaza has sparked many protests on college campuses across the United States, with numerous reports of anti-Semitic incidents between protesters and Jewish students.

On the campus of the University of California Los Angeles last week, violence erupted between demonstrators at a pro-Palestinian encampment and pro-Israeli counter-protesters. On Thursday, police raided the encampment and made over 130 arrests.

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