Antiwar protests in Israel
By Mike Head
World Socialist Web Site
If one were to judge by the international media, the Israeli government’s assault on Lebanon and Gaza enjoys the virtually unanimous support of the Israeli population. In so far as Israeli citizens have been interviewed, they have been invariably in favour of war, insisting that it provides the only means of protecting the Israeli people.
Despite a barrage of pro-war propaganda in the Israeli media, however, visible opposition has begun to appear. Some 2,000 people marched in Israel’s commercial capital of Tel Aviv on Sunday to demand prisoner exchange negotiations with the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah, and an end to the offensive against Lebanon.
“Yes to Peace,” “Stop the War Monstrosity,” “Say No to the Brutal Bombardments on Gaza” and “Our Children Want to Live” were among the calls from the mixed crowd of Jewish and Arab demonstrators organised by several Israeli anti-war groups.
They also accused Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defence Minister Amir Peretz of murdering children and carrying out war crimes in complicity with American policy. The slogans included “Olmert Agreed With Bush: War and Occupation” and “Peretz, Don’t Worry, We’ll be Seeing You at The Hague.”
For all the claims of democracy in Israel, the rally received almost no coverage in the local and international media and was dispersed by police within two hours. Police arrested three protesters, claiming they were holding a demonstration without a permit.
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