Thousands gather at a pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv, on day 40 of Operation Protective
Ten thousand demonstrators gathered on Saturday evening for a pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv under the slogan, “Changing direction: toward peace, away from war.”
The rally in Rabin Square comes two days after another demonstration expressing solidarity with residents of communities along the Gaza border. Right-wing activists held a counter-demonstration nearby at the same time.
The event’s Facebook entry opens: “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”.
Speaking at the demonstration, Meretz party chairperson, Zahava Gal-On, who has consistently criticized Netanyahu, calling on him not to obey the warmongers, said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed miserably by refusing to take the diplomatic path to peace. She accused the prime minister of a “diplomatic freeze: refusing to adopt the Arab Peace Initiative; 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. She continued:
“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.”
The Facebook entry ended: “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.”
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