Some have estimated the protest yesterday in Tel Aviv at 7,000. Others, have said it was only 5,000. Both of these are much higher than the original estimates of 3,000 that came in as the rally kicked off yesterday.
The crowd was composed of Israeli peace protestors against the war in Gaza, marching under the banner, ”No more deaths – Israeli-Palestinian peace, now.”
The rally took place at Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv, even as police tried in vain to shut it down, citing “security concerns.”
The protest saw a line up of pro-peace speakers such as Hadash MK Dov Khenin, who is an Israeli and Palestinian veteran from the organization Combatants for Peace, as well as Yifat Solel, the head of the Meretz party’s anti-occupation forum.
Another speaker, from the Parents’ Circle, Ben Kfir’s daughter was killed in a Hamas suicide bombing in 2003. All of these speakers said that the government’s claim that there is “no partner for peace among the Palestinians” is patently false.
While Sulaiman Khatib, co-founder of Combatants for Peace, spoke, an increasingly smaller group of neo-fascist “Jewish Defense League” counter protesters yelled “Death to Arabs.”
By 10 p.m. the protest had gained increasing numbers, when police finally said they had to disburse the crowd and cancel further demonstration. The police claimed “Hamas rockets” would soon be raining down upon Rabin Square. But this, of course, never happened.