Just a few days ago we’ve seen people taking actions against Israel’s unwarranted aggression.
But we need persistent and smarter moves than these. We don’t demand changes from the likes of Bibi Netanyahu. We don’t ask them to step down.
We must take them down by ourselves.
‘Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies’: Thousands call for peace at Tel Aviv rally (PHOTOS)
Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square over the weekend to encourage an end to hostilities through peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian unity government.
The protest’s organizers said that the turnout Saturday night was as high as 10,000 people, while Israeli media said that just “thousands” were involved in the protest, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Participants rallied under the slogan: “Changing direction: toward peace, away from war.”
Several protesters were chanting, “Bibi go home,” according to JPost.
The left-wing Meretz party’s leader, member of the Knesset Zehava Gal-On, called for the resignation of Netanyahu, saying he had failed to ensure peace in the south despite having the capacity and authority to act over the course of the past five years.
“You could have achieved the framework you are willing to accept now without paying the price of 64 dead soldiers and the deaths of civilians,” she told the crowd.
Other protesters marched under signs stating, “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies,” and “When there is no peace, war comes,” according to the JPost. In addition to Meretz, Hadash, Peace Now and other left-wing organizations participated in the rally.
The protest had originally been scheduled for the previous week. However, it was postponed after its permit was revoked by the Home Front Command and the police at a point when authorities were trying to prevent large-scale gatherings while missiles were still being fired and there was still a threat of Hamas rockets falling on Tel Aviv.
In contravention of the ban, 500 people still materialized at the time for which it was originally scheduled.
Among the more high-profile marchers on Saturday night was author David Grossman, who said that a military solution was not possible in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. “There is still a critical mass who want peace,” he said.
“Certain phenomena and processes that have become apparent lately might transform Israel into an extremist, militant sect, xenophobic, isolated and ostracized,” Grossman added.
Meretz activist Ofer Prag told JPost that he had attended to make sure the left was given a voice.
“We could have gone down the political path before this war started and averted 64 Israeli deaths and nearly 2,000 Palestinian ones,” he said.
On August 14, an estimated 10,000 also rallied in Tel Aviv to show support for the IDF’s military campaign in Gaza, urging the government forces to stop Hamas rocket attacks on Israel once and for all.
The expiration of a five-day ceasefire loomed on Monday night.
More than 2,000 civilians and military personnel have been killed since the conflict began five weeks ago.
California picketers prevent Israeli cargo ship from docking
In what was a community-wide effort, dock workers that showed up for the evening shift on Sunday did not disturb the integrity of the picket line, which was there in anticipation of the ship, operated by Zim Shipping Services Ltd.
Because the line wasn’t crossed, no unloading could take place. Organizer Lara Kiswani confirmed that “they’re honoring our community picket and they haven’t been crossing.”
A Twitter campaign, called #BlockTheBoat, promoted the event, which started as a march earlier on Saturday with slogans such as “Gaza will be free” or “Boycott. Divest. Sanction. End Israeli Apartheid.” Drawing supporters, it resulted in groups of 20 to 50 protesters gathering at different entrances to the docks.
The previous day it was only a coalition of some 70 organizations working in the San Francisco Bay Area, before the march became a picket.
One organizer, Sharif Zakout, told the Guardian the group “didn’t expect to be out here today until an hour before the ILWU workers were coming to work.”
The ship’s route was monitored by activists online, so the crowd knew to come back at 5:10pm to continue picketing on Sunday. The event lasted until 8pm and proceeded calmly, with no police involvement, although officers stood by and kept watch.
Kiswani doesn’t look like she wishes to give up that easily or restrict the action to just this separate event.
“They may unload it in the morning, they may not,” she told the newspaper. “Our intention is to really build a movement here … our goal in the long run is for the workers themselves to refuse to unload that ship, stand with us, and take a position against Israeli apartheid.”
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#ItsBiggerThanYou: Atlanta protesters challenge CNN’s Michael Brown reporting
Demonstrators who had been urged to attend dressed in their “Sunday’s best” marched under the slogan: “How good must we look to be considered innocent?” and used the #ItsBiggerThanYou hashtag.
The protest was staged in response to CNN’s Ferguson protests coverage, which had a strong emphasis on past actions by Brown which may have incriminated him. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, as many as 1,000 protesters marched.
Militarized US police face-off with Ferguson protesters LIVE UPDATES
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