Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Biggest anti-war demonstration yet in Israel

News is circulating about a large demonstration in Tel Aviv against Israel's invasion of Lebanon:

During the march, the demonstrators shouted (in Hebrew): "Jews and Arabs / refuse to be enemies!" - "We shall not die nor kill / in the service of the USA!" - "Children want to live / in Beirut and Haifa!" - "Peretz, Peretz resign / peace is more important!" - "A million refugees / that's a war crime!" - "Olmert, Peretz and Ramon / Get out of Lebanon!"

The two most popular stickers were Gush Shalom's "Bring the Soldiers Home" and the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families' Forum's "It will not End Until we Talk!"

Some conspicuous posters: "We shall all lose!" - "Occupation and War are a disaster!" - "Just Peace = Security!" - "39 Years are enough - End the Occupation!" - "There is no military solution!" - "Cease-fire NOW!" - "Stop the war! Stop the massacre!"

All peace organizations took part. Besides Gush Shalom, participants included the Women's Coalition for Peace, Ta'ayush, Anarchists Against Walls, Yesh Gvul, the Israeli-Palestinian Forum of Bereaved Families, feminists, many parents with their children, veteran and young peace activists as well the political parties Hadash, Balad and the United Arab List.

A sign of the ferment in the political system was provided by members of Meretz, who took part in spite their party's pro-war position. They were led by former MKs Naomi Hazan abd Ya'el Dayan.

Dayan's speech caused an incident, when she sent greetings to the soldiers fighting in Lebanon. Her words aroused heated protests, and some activists tried to storm the stage, but were held back by their friends.

Among the speakers were the secretary of the Arab Citizens' Monitoring Committee, a representative of the Russian immigrants, a conscientious objector about enter prison, a peace activist whose housed has been hit by a rocket, and others...


Aotearoa Jews for Justice is organising similar events in this part of the world.

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