Saturday night’s Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) rally brought out thousands of people, Israelis sick of the status quo, to protest the Netanyahu government’s intransigence, its diplomatic inaction and its fomenting of violence and brutality.
Under the slogan “There is no Security without a Political Solution,” thousands of Israelis urged their government to choose dialogue over demagoguery and incitement, diplomacy over force and subjugation, to offer Israelis hope, and to lead Israelis toward peace with the Palestinians.
At one of the most tense times in Israel’s history, as the extremist right tries to intimidate progressive Israelis by depicting them as collaborating with terrorists, Shalom Aschshav again stood up to be Israel’s voice of reason, to bravely insist that peace is possible and necessary, and to demand that Israeli leaders pursue it.
Among the speakers was MK Stav Shafir, who in a fiery speech blasted Netanyahu and his government for “wasting its time and our time in pathetic attempts to rewrite history instead of building a future” for Israelis. Shafir said: “This is what it looks like when there is no path and no vision, when you are dragged by an extremist minority and you let it dictate the path for an entire country. Our leaders are taking us to a reality in which there is cyclical terror and cyclical war.”
Shafir’s speech is available in Hebrew only, not yet with English subtitles.
Peace Now’s rally received broad media coverage inside Israel and worldwide, and served to remind Israelis and their friends overseas that unlike Israel’s current leadership, many in Israel -- if not most -- realize that peace is the ultimate answer to Israel’s security challenges.
The rally was possible thanks to people like you. Your tax-deductible donations to Americans for Peace Now, Shalom Achshav’s US sister-organization are shared with our friends in Israel. Without your help, logistical efforts such as this would not be possible.