Note: This is NOT a repost- I just deleted the original item since it was aproved before I managed to add photos. Pls do not reject it again...
'One people, one draft' – Some 12,000 people including IDF reservists, disabled veterans, social activists and politicians gathered Saturday night in Tel Aviv Museum Plaza in order to call for universal draft and an equal distribution of the burden.
The protesters are calling: "One people, one draft" and "Barak, you promised – now live up to it." Some activists are waving Israeli flags and holding signs reading "No army – no allowance" and "equal draft – social justice."
Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz, who arrived at the rally, was greeted by shouts from protesters demanding that he "go home."
Former head of Shin Bet Yuval Diskin addressed the crowds, saying: "I enlisted into the army at the age of 18 and completed my service last year, at the age of 55. I served willingly for 37 years and never felt like a sucker.
Diskin added: "Despite my age and experience, I am excited to stand here today. I see a plaza full of people who care for this country, who love it and who are willing to sacrifice for it.
"There is something rotten in our leadership; we must demand that public officials not escape and not avoid acting here and now about the situation… We finally have an opportunity to fix the injustice," he said.
Former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi made a spontaneous appearance on the stage, saying "I'm happy to be here, I salute all of you."
Chairman of the National Student Union Itzik Shmueli addressed the crowds saying: "Netanyahu, decide – are you a politician, or a leader?
"Look around you – the silent majority is no longer silent. This time we won't give up. We are not up for sale," he said.
Tens of thousands of people gathered Saturday night in Tel Aviv to demand that ultra-Orthodox and Arab Israelis participate in the universal draft. Among the demonstrators were politicians and senior reserve officers.
At the beginning of the demonstration, at the Arlozoroff train station where reservists demanding universal service have been holding a vigil, protesters argued for several minutes with Yair Lapid, the leader of the new party Yesh Atid. They accused him of taking advantage of their struggle to make political headway. Lapid responded by saying the struggle had to be fought in the political arena.
From the train station, the crowd marched to the Tel Aviv Art Museum plaza.
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