The gathering of tens of thousands of Israelis at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square last night for a Peace Now rally marking 50 years of Israel’s ruling over another people was a show of force for Israel’s peace camp. It showed that there is a loyal and vociferous constituency for peace, which is willing to fight for what Israelis and Palestinians deserve: Two states, living side by side in peace and security.
The organization was impeccable – the result of months of preparation and many hours of work by Peace Now staff and volunteers. The turnout was large – much more than the organizers had expected. The speeches were inspiring and the crowd’s behavior dignified, even when controversial Likud MK Oren Hazan showed up for a provocation.
Strolling among the crowd, I saw the beautiful, peace-loving, patriotic Israelis of yore, those who flooded the Square in the 1980s and 1990s, but even more so, I saw their children and grandchildren. Teens with picket signs and children with hand-painted peace signs. It was more than heartwarming. It was hope-inspiring. It was uplifting. It was extremely moving. It was a spectacular success.
Here are several photos that I have taken at the rally.