Big peace demonstration in Israel


Peace demonstrators in Tel Aviv

From the Gush Shalom peace movement in Israel:

Saturday 03/01, 22:00

MASSIVE DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE WAR

At the same time as Ehud Barak was ordering the army to start the bloody ground offensive against Gaza, some ten thousand protesters from all over Israel marched in Tel-Aviv in a massive demonstration against the war.

“One does not build an election campaign over the dead bodies of children!” shouted the protesters in Hebrew rhymes. “Orphans and widows are not election propaganda!”, “Olmert, Livni and Barak – war is no game!”’ “All cabinet ministers are war criminals!!” Barak, Barak, don’t worry – we shall meet you in The Hague!”, “Enough, enough – speak with Hamas!”

The written posters were similar. Some of them paraphrased Barak’s election slogans: “Barak is not friendly, he is a murderer!” (The original Barak slogan says: “Barak is not friendly, he is a leader!”) Also: “No to the Election War, 2009!” and “The six-Knesset-seat war!” – an allusion to the polls which showed that in the first days of the war Barak’s Labor Party has gained six prospective seats.

The demonstration took place after a fight with the police, which tried to prevent or at least limit it, arguing that they would not be able to stop right-wing rioters from attacking it. Among other things, the police demanded that the organizers undertake to prevent the hoisting of Palestinian flags. The organizers petitioned the High Court of Justice, which decided that the Palestinian flag is legal and ordered the police to protect the demonstration from rioters.

The demonstration was decided upon by Gush Shalom and 20 other peace organizations, including the Women’s Coalition for Peace, Anarchists Against the Wall, Hadash, the Alternative Information Center and New Profile. Meretz and Peace Now did not participate officially, but many of their members showed up. Some thousand Arab citizens from the north arrived in 20 buses straight from the big demonstration of the Arab public which had taken place in Sakhnin.

The organizers themselves were surprised by the large number of protesters. “A week after the start of Lebanon War II, we succeeded in mobilizing only 1000 demonstrators against it. The fact that today there came 10,000 proves that the opposition to the war is much stronger this time. If Barak goes on with his plans, public opinion may completely turn against the war in a few days.”

The giant Gush Shalom banner said in Hebrew, Arabic and English: “Stop Killing! Stop the Siege! Stop the occupation!” The slogan of the demonstration called for the end of the blockade and an immediate cease-fire.

On the day of the protest, the extreme Right mobilized their forces in order to break up the demonstration by force. The police made a great effort to prevent riots, and the one-mile march from Rabin Square to Cinematheque Square proceeded relatively quietly. However, when the protesters started to disperse, in accordance with the agreement with the police, a large crowd of rightists started to attack them. The police, which till then had been keeping the two camps apart, disappeared from the scene. The rioters then encircled the last of the protesters, harassing them, pushing them about and at a certain point started to besiege the Cinematheque building, where some of the last protesters had found refuge. They tried to break into the building, threatening to “finish off” the protesters, but at the last moment some police arrived and protected the entrance. The rioters stayed around for a long time.

America’s Hidden Role in Hamas‘s Rise to Power: here.

9 thoughts on “Big peace demonstration in Israel

  1. Hallo Israeli Goverment, on behalf of Peace. can you give the instructions to stop war please. how about your feeling and instinct if you have brother and sister at Gaza Strip. I give the advise you because I have sister as the Indonesian Labor in Gaza strip

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  2. Report from the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom: At the same time as Ehud Barak was ordering the army to start the bloody ground offensive against Gaza, some ten thousand protesters from all over Israel marched in Tel-Aviv in a massive demonstration against the war.

    All four lanes of Ibn Gvirol St., one of the city’s main throughfares, were packed full of demonstrators who marched the two kiolometres from the Rabin Square to the Cinemateque, chanting and waving banners all the way.

    “One does not build an election campaign over the dead bodies of children!” shouted the protesters in Hebrew rhymes. “Orphans and widows are not election propaganda!”, “Olmert, Livni and Barak – war is no game!”’ “All cabinet ministers are war criminals!!” Barak, Barak, don’t worry – we shall meet you in The Hague!”, “Enough, enough – speak with Hamas!”

    The written posters were similar. Some of them paraphrased Barak’s election slogans: “Barak is not friendly, he is a murderer!” (The original Barak slogan says: “Barak is not friendly, he is a leader!”) Also: “No to the Election War, 2009!” and “The six-Knesset-seat war!” – an allusion to the polls which showed that in the first days of the war Barak’s Labor Party has gained six prospective seats.

    The demonstration took place after a fight with the police, which tried to prevent or at least limit it, arguing that they would not be able to stop right-wing rioters from attacking it. Among other things, the police demanded that the organizers undertake to prevent the hoisting of Palestinian flags. The organizers petitioned the High Court of Justice, which decided that the Palestinian flag is legal and ordered the police to protect the demonstration from rioters,

    The demonstration was decided upon by Gush Shalom and 20 other peace organizations, including the Women’s Coalition for Peace, Anarchists Against the Wall, Hadash, the Alternative Information Center and New Profile. Meretz and Peace Now did not participate officially, but many of their members showed up. Some thousand Arab citizens from the north arrived in 20 buses straight from the big demonstration of the Arab public which had taken place in Sakhnin.

    The organizers themselves were surprised by the large number of protesters. “A week after the start of Lebanon War II, we succeeded in mobilizing only 1000 demonstrators against it. The fact that today there came 10,000 proves that the opposition to the war is much stronger this time. If Barak goes on with his plans, public opinion may completely turn against the war in a few days.”

    The giant Gush Shalom banner said in Hebrew, Arabic and English: “Stop Killing! Stop the Siege! Stop the occupation!” The slogan of the demonstration called for the end of the blockade and an immediate cease-fire.

    On the day of the protest, the extreme Right mobilized their forces in order to break up the demonstration by force. The police made a great effort to prevent riots, and the one-mile march from Rabin Square to Cinematheque Square proceeded relatively quietly. However, when the protesters started to disperse, in accordance with the agreement with the police, a large crowd of rightists started to attack them. The police, which till then had been keeping the two camps apart, disappeared from the scene. The rioters then encircled the last of the protesters, harassing them, pushing them about and at a certain point started to besiege the Cinematheque building, where some of the last protesters had found refuge. They tried to break into the building, threatening to “finish off” the protesters, but at the last moment some police arrived and protected the entrance. The rioters stayed around for a long time.

    Circumstances made it impossible to hold the planned public rally at the end of the march. No speeches were made. Here is a translation of the speech Uri Avnery was about to make on behalf of Gush Shalom:

    They tell us We are traitors.

    They tell us We are destroyers of Israel.

    They tell us We are criminals.

    But we tell them: The criminals are those Who started this Criminal and unnecessary war!

    An unnecessary war Because it was possible To stop the Qassams By the government stopping the blockade On the million and a half Inhabitants of Gaza.

    A criminal war Because, on top of everything else It is openly and shamelessly Part of Ehud Barak’s and Tzipi Livni’s Election campaign

    I accuse Ehud Barak Of exploiting the IDF soldiers In order to get more Knesset seats.

    I accuse Tzipi Livni Of advocating mutual slaughter In order to become Prime Minister.

    I accuse Ehud Olmert Of trying to cover up Rot and corruption With a disastrous war.

    I call upon them From this tribune, On behalf of this Courageous and decent audience: Stop the war at once! Stop shedding the blood of Our soldiers and civilians for nothing! Stop shedding the blood Of the inhabitants of Gaza!

    The ground invasion Will cause An additional disaster, A mutual massacre And even more Terrible war crimes!

    At the end of this war No general Will be able to set foot On European soil Without fear of being arrested For war crimes.

    We are told That there is no alternative. Not true!!! A cease-fire is possible even now, Yes, this very minute, If we agree to lift The murderous siege, If we allow the Gaza people To live in dignity, If we talk with Hamas.

    I wish to address

    The people of the South, The people of Sderot, Ashdod and Beersheba: We know your anguish – Even though we don’t live with you, We know well. But we also know That this war Will not change your situation. The politicians exploit you, The politicians conduct a war On your back. You too know that!

    I call upon Olmert, Barak and Livni: Do not send the soldiers into the Strip! All three of you will be accused of war crimes! All three of you will pay the price!

    The masses in Israel Saluting you now Will punish you tomorrow. That happened in the Second Lebanon War That will happen Again this time!

    And YOU who are standing here, Women and men, Young and old, Jews and Arabs, YOU who have protested Against this horrible war From the first day, From the first minute, Isolated and cursed – YOU are the real heroes!

    You can be proud, Very proud, Because you stand in the middle Of a hurricane of hysteria and ignorance, And are not swept away by it! You are retaining your sanity, Not only at home But here, in the street!

    Millions around the world see you, Salute you, Salute each one of you.

    As a human being, As an Israeli, As a seeker of peace, I am proud To be here today.

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  3. The Other Israel, December-January issue is out
    Some articles online & info how to order free sample
    http://otherisrael.home.igc.org

    No safe havens in a war which can’t be won

    Here follow the January 6, 2009 press picks from what was published recently by different sources -posted by TOI-staff on Occupation Magazine. (Today, we posted articles; OM is updated each day of the week, by different editors. For earlier articles use the powerfull search function & view the sections.)

    Activism:

    There is a stream of actions which does not stop us from feeling helpless towards all the horror, especially today.

    From the first day (see a video of the Tel-Aviv action Dec.27)
    http://www.tv.social.org.il/medini/stv-aza-oferet-27-12-08.htm

    With a ten thousand strong demo – a week later
    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/events/1231029668

    Today we demonstrated in Jaffa and saw on the Israeli TV how our friends demonstrated against the war in Be’er Sheva, which is in the range of missiles from Gaza

    Tomorrow, Wednesday – at 18.00 another demo in Tel-Aviv against the Madness (Gaza coalition)

    Thursday 18.00 PM – demonstration in solidarity with reservists refusing to take part in Gaza War; initiative: the revived Courage to Refuse movement.

    Articles:

    IAF targets UN-run school; Palestinians: At least 30 killed
    Israel radio already speaks of 40
    Yaakov Katz, AP – Jerusalem Post – The United Nations said hundreds of people from a Gaza City refugee camp had gone to seek shelter in the school
    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=31012

    Israeli citizens calling upon international community to stop Israel
    Signatories: As if the occupation was not enough, the brutal ongoing repression of the Palestinian population, the construction of settlements and the siege of Gaza- now comes the bombardment of the civilian population: men, women, old folks and children. Hundreds of dead, hundreds of injured, overwhelmed hospitals, and the central medicine depot of Gaza bombed.
    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=31003

    Affidavit from Gaza
    By Maher Najjar – IMEMC – My name is Maher Najjar. I am the Deputy Director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU). I write this affidavit in support of a request and/or court petition that the Israeli authorities provide fuel and electricity to vital humanitarian institutions in Gaza.
    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=31014

    Situation Report from the Humanitarian Coordinator (the most recent of the daily reports)
    UN-OCHA – Gaza is now divided into two sections with internal movement within the Strip extremely dangerous. It is increasingly difficult for humanitarian staff to distribute aid or reach casualties. More than a million Gazans still have no electricity or water, and thousands of people have fled their homes for safe shelter. In addition to the destruction of essential infrastructure including electricity, water and waste water, communications and roads, hospitals are unable to provide adequate intensive care to the high number of casualties.
    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=31013

    For 48 hours, gunbattles kept wounded Gaza family from medical aid
    Amira Hass – Haaretz – Twenty hours later, the wounded were still bleeding in a shed in the courtyard of the house. There was no electricity, no heat, no water. Their relatives were with them, but every time they tried to leave the courtyard to fetch water, the army shot at them.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1052902.html

    Interview with Nurit Peled-Elhanan
    Yuval Hyman – Maariv-Kol ha-Zman – “Enough with ‘the other way round’. It is the strong who decide. Israel always says ‘our pilots returned safely’. Truly amazing that Hamas’ F-16 didn’t get them. Come on, really, enough. Children with scarves and homemade bombs. There is a limit.”
    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=31011

    Israel`s New War Ethic
    Neve Gordon – The Nation – Not unlike raising animals for slaughter on a farm, the Israeli government maintains that it is providing Palestinians with assistance so that it can have a free hand in attacking them.
    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=31009

    Israel`s blonde bombshells and real bombs in Gaza
    Yosefa Loshitzky – The Electronic Intifada – The name “Operation Cast Lead”, chosen by Israel for its murderous and criminal attack on Gaza, is borrowed from a nursery rhyme in which a father promises to his child “a cast lead sevivon.” Sevivon (dreidel in Yiddish) is a four-sided spinning top, played with during Hanukkah. Somebody, in the Israeli army, who apparently feels nostalgic about his childhood, decided that if Israeli kids would enjoy a sevivon cast from lead there is no reason why Palestinian children would not appreciate it too…
    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=31010

    Turkey chooses sides
    Jerusalem Post Editorial – Defying the Arab League, Turkey signed a military cooperation pact with Israel in 1996. Nowadays, however, Israeli-Turkish relations are strained, with 200,000 anti-Israel demonstrators in a main Istanbul square and PM Erdogan, who cordially hosted Olmert just before the Gaza War started, stating: “Hamas abided by the truce. But Israel failed to lift embargoes. In Gaza, people seem to live in an open prison. In fact, all Palestine looks like an open prison…”
    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=31008

    `Price of stubborness over Gaza exit is dead soldiers`
    Amos Harel & Avi Issacharoff – Haaretz – (…) with the defense minister and the foreign minister both beginning their days trying to figure out how to thwart the success of the other, and the (outgoing) prime minister toying with the idea of smashing Hamas, it`s little wonder that a diplomatic solution is still far off.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1053121.html

    Daily headlines & action alerts in English http://www.kibush.co.il and Hebrew http://www.kibush.co.il/index_h.asp

    Articles posted on earlier days are on top in the sections on the homepage http://www.kibush.co.il/#top#top

    Also possibility of searching for articles back to 2004


    TOI-Billboard is the weekly (approximately) ‘ezine’ of the independent THE OTHER ISRAEL bi-monthly (approximately) peace newsletter, existing since 1983, and published by its editors Adam Keller & Beate Zilversmidt.

    The Other Israel printed issue – http://otherisrael.home.igc.org

    December-January issue is out –
    Several articles online

    For a one time hard-copy (free sample), send your address to: toi.correspondence@gmail.com

    N.B.: US addresses to: aicipp@igc.org OR send the postal address of a friend whom you recommend for a free sample

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  4. Press Release, January 7, 2009

    Gush Shalom: Conducting war in the world’s most thickly populated area condemns the soldiers to become war criminals

    The desperate refugees who lost everything had hoped that hiding in a school belonging to the UN would give them at least some kind of refuge and save their children. They did not know that even there a single shell would cut off dozens of lives in a single second. They did not know that facing them is an Israeli government running amok; charging headlong into the depth of the bloody mud of Gaza.

    Those who sent soldiers to conduct intensive warfare in the world’s most thickly inhabited area knew well in advance that the undoubted result would be a bloodbath, the killing of civilians, children and adults, whole families buried under the ruins of their homes. The government dooms a whole generation of young Israelis to become, quite literally, war criminals – except for those who are themselves killed by the artillery shells which are supposed to protect them.

    Contact: Uri Avnery +972-505-306440

    Adam Keller +972-506-709603 or +972+3+5565804

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  5. Pingback: Bush’s medals for war criminals | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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