Some 2,000 Israeli protestors urge government to quit territories to safeguard state
Published: 05.15.10, 23:10 / Israel News
Some 2,000 people from across Israel took part in a leftist demonstration near Jerusalem's Zion Square Saturday evening.
The rally, organized by members of the so-called "Zionist leftist camp," was held under the banner: "Zionists don't settle."
The demonstration was organized by the National Left movement, Peace Now, the Geneva Initiative, Meretz, the Ofek student cell from Hebrew University, and Labor Party activists. Many of the participants held up Israeli flags during the rally.
The protestors were faced by a few rightist activists holding signs reading: "Jerusalem – only for Jews."
Speaking at the event, Dr. Gadi Taub said: "We need to make sure that the national argument and the human rights argument won't contradict each other. Both arguments lead to a departure from the territories."
"Being Zionist means getting out of the territories and not ruling over another people," he said. "The national camp is not the Right. The Right is the bi-national camp."
Taub added that the protestors' brand of Zionism was not about land, but rather, about the liberation of people.
"This is Ben-Gurion's vision and Herzl's vision," he said. "If we won't quit the territories, we shall lose Zionism's achievement – a Jewish and democratic state."
Singer Achinoam Nini, who performed at the rally, addressed the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, saying that "today, 15 years after that terrible murder, we take our fate into our own hands."
"We choose constant dialogue until peace is reached. Jerusalem needs to be a city of peace – one capital for two nations," she said.
However, some of the protestors at the event were unimpressed by the statements and declarations made by the speakers.
"Until tonight, I supported this move and helped in organizing the protest. However, we made a mistake. I have a problem with the harsh messages against the settlers and the settlement enterprise," Labor Party Jerusalem City Councilor Hilik Bar said. "Instead of taking the Left to the center and even to the centre-Right, they're taking us back to the delusional Left."
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