By August 19, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

10,000 Israeli Peace Protestors Defy Police BAN Again!

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Thousands of Israeli peace protestors continued to defy the ban on assembling this Saturday evening. Once again, the pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv numbered in the thousands, this time regaining the massive numbers that protests saw before the ban on assembly and free speech.

The protesters rallied under the slogan: “Changing direction: toward peace, away from war!”

Like former Tel Aviv protests over the past month, this one was also focused in Rabin Square. It comes just two days after another similar demonstration – also illegal, banned under the Likud regime – expressing solidarity with both Gazans and Israeli residents of communities along the Gaza border.

As expected, Jewish Defense League terrorists and other right-wing supporters of the JDL terror group planned a counter-demonstration. Their numbers proved again to be lackluster.

The main peace rally at Rabin Square began at 8 pm, with speeches given by author David Grossman, journalist Zuheir Bahloul, Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On, Hadash chairman Mohammed Barakeh, a resident of the border town of Sderot, a representative of bereaved families and other peace activists.

It also saw performances by Achinoam Nini, Mira Awad, Yair Dalal and Adam Gorlitsky.

The Facebook page for the event states that, “following a painful month of war and death, in view of waves of incitement and hatred that are tearing apart Israeli society, we call for a demonstration for peace and democracy. The next round (of violence) can be avoided. We don’t have to sink into an abyss of ever-crueler wars, of extreme hatred and a destruction of our neighbors and ourselves.

“Only an agreement will ensure long-term security and quiet for residents of the south and of the entire country. There is another way – immediate dialogue with Palestinians to ensure a fair peace, the opening of Gaza and a determined stand of Arabs and Jews against racism and for life. Only a two-state political solution will guarantee independence, justice, security and hope for all people living in this land.”

Meretz chairperson Zahava Gal-On spoke at the protest, lashing out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he has failed miserably, refusing to take the diplomatic path to peace for over five years now.

Gal-On said that the prime minister was guilty of a “diplomatic freeze: refusing to adopt the Arab Peace Initiative; the so-called blowup of the talks with (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) Abu Mazen after 9 months, the breakdown of U.S.-Israel relations, the refusal to recognize the Palestinian unity government, and the widely authorized building in the settlements, which destroyed any chances of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

“You could have achieved the framework you’re willing to accept now without paying the price of 64 dead soldiers and civilians, the death of 2,000 Palestinians, and the horrible destruction in Gaza, including almost half a million people uprooted from their homes.”

Author David Grossman, for his part, added that “Neither side in this war has a victory picture. There are only indescribable images of death and destruction. Every image depicts defeat for both peoples.

“There is no military solution for the conflict between Israel and Hamas. There is no military solution that will end the suffering of Israelis in the south and the inhumane suffering of people in Gaza. People in Israel won’t be able to breathe freely either, until the stranglehold on Gaza is lifted.”

The 10,000 strong rally was so large, that many streets were closed. Many at the rally said that the peace movement is stronger than ever and is just getting started. This, they said, is the beginning of a true Israeli Spring!

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