At least 7,000 left-wing anti-war protesters flooded Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square for an anti-war protest Saturday night organized by the hard-left political party Hadash, Combatants for Peace, and The Parents Circle Families Forum. But the peaceful protest was marred by right-wing violence and thuggery.
Above: File photo of right wing protesters in Jerusalem calling for indiscriminate revenge against Arabs
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
At least 7,000 left-wing anti-war protesters flooded Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square for an anti-war protest Saturday night organized by the hard-left political party Hadash, Combatants for Peace, and The Parents Circle Families Forum. But the peaceful protest was marred by right-wing violence and thuggery, Ha’aretz reported.
It was the largest protest against the continuation of Israel’s war in Gaza so far, but it was cut short by police – not because the left-wing protesters violated the law (they did not), but because right-wing counter-protesters did.
Leftists have repeatedly complained that police penalize them when rightists are violent, much as police repeatedly penalized Women of the Wall when haredi protesters against them were violent. A Jerusalem court severely reprimanded police for doing this, but after a very brief lull, police resumed the exact same behavior the court had ruled illegal. It is that same behavior police reportedly showed tonight in Tel Aviv.
Police first tried to block the anti-war protest from taking place due to fear of rocket fire. Bu the Israeli government agreed to extend a temporary humanitarian cease-fire, and police were forced to allow the leftists to demonstrate.
As the 7,000 anti-war protesters held their peaceful demonstration, police formed a weak barrier between them and a much smaller group of right-wing counter-protesters.
In one of the square’s corners memorial candles were lit among pictures of the dead from both sides – IDF soldiers and Gaza civilians.
“In Gaza they are digging concrete tunnels and we are erecting a separation fence. How sad it is that we can’t channel these efforts for peace.…The infrastructure of terrorism is ignorance, poverty and despair. It is with these we must deal,” Ben Kfir, whose daughter was murdered by a Hamas terrorist in 2003, said during his speech.
But the hatred of the right-wingers lurking at the edge of the anti-war protest was palpable.
They continually shouted, “Death to the leftists!” and asked that a rocket from Gaza strike and kill the leftists.
They also sang, “Why is there no school in Gaza? Because no more kids are left!” as a happy, celebratory song. Some right-wing protesters tried to convince their right-wing counterparts to stop singing that and similar racist songs, but the right-wingers refused and instead sang even louder and with more glee.
Later these same right-wingers tried to break through the police line and beat-up the leftists. They blocked Ibn Givrol Street, a main thoroughfare in the city.
Mounted police pushed them out of the street.
Four right-wing protesters were arrested.
But police asked the anti-war protest’s organizers to cut the protest short to avoid an escalation of right-wing violence.
The leftists left the area later without incident – an improvement over last week’s protest when right-wing thugs roving in packs sought out lone leftists and beat them.