Israelis march for peace

TEL AVIV, Israel — The biggest Israeli demonstration against the war to date took place here Aug. 5 in the heart of the city’s downtown.

Close to 10,000 demonstrators from all over the country, among them many Arab citizens, marched from Ben-Zion Boulevard, along King George Street, to Magen David Square. The thousands that did not find place in the square flowed over into Nahlat Binyamin and the other neighboring streets.

When the demonstrators were still waiting for the start, a salvo of eggs was thrown at them from the balcony of a building. The perpetrators fled before the police could reach them. Along the same lines, a number of flags that the demonstrators planned to carry were seized and carried off by opponents of the peace march.

During the march, demonstrators shouted “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies,” “We shall not die nor kill in the service of the USA,” “Children want to live in Beirut and Haifa,” “Peretz, Peretz resign — peace is more important,” “A million refugees — that’s a war crime,” and “Olmert, Peretz and Ramon — Get out of Lebanon!”

The two most popular stickers were Gush Shalom’s “Bring the soldiers home” and the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families Forum’s “It will not end until we talk.”

Conspicuous signs included “Occupation and war are a disaster,” “There is no military solution,” “Cease-fire NOW,” and “Stop the war! Stop the massacre!”

All peace organizations took part. Besides Gush Shalom, a key organizer, participants included the Women’s Coalition for Peace, Ta’ayush, Anarchists Against Walls, Yesh Gvul, the Israeli-Palestinian Forum of Bereaved Families, feminists, many parents with their children, veteran and young peace activists as well the political parties Hadash, Balad and the United Arab List.

— Gush Shalom (