Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thousands Demonstrate in Tel Aviv Against Blockade

Leftist and rightist Israelis clash at Gaza Flotilla Protest in Tel Aviv


    Smoke grenade hurled at left wing protesters

    from unknown source; demonstrators carry

    banners saying 'the government is drowning us



By Chaim Levinson

Haaretz (Israel)

June 5, 2010


Leftist and rightist demonstrators clashed Saturday

night in Tel Aviv as more than 6,000 Israelis gathered

to protest the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship

earlier this week, in which nine pro-Palestinian

activists were killed.


The protest was originally planned by to mark the

anniversary of the Six Day War which broke out 43 years

ago today. Among the organizers were left wing parties

Meretz, Hadash and Peace Now organization. The

demonstrators carried banners saying "The government is

drowning us all," "We must stride for peace," and "A

right wing government = clear and immediate danger to

state security."


As the demonstrators marched from the Rabin Square near

the city's municipal building toward the Tel Aviv

museum several hundred of rightist demonstrators

followed the demonstration. Upon their arrival at their

final destination the spirits heated up between the two

opposing groups, during which they two sides cursed and

shouted at each other.


A smoke grenade was also hurled at the left wing

demonstrators from an unknown source.


Police were deployed to keep the two sides apart.

Clashes were also reported on the central Ibn Gevirol Street.


Hundreds of left wing demonstrators carried Israeli

flags to establish that they were not demonstrating

against Israel nor questioning the country's existence,

but rather protesting the actions executed by Prime

Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government.




Thousands Demonstrate in Tel Aviv Against Blockade


By Jerusalem Post Staff

Jerusalem Post (Israel)

June 5, 2010


    Leftists protesters commemorate 43 years of

    occupation, call to end blockade.


Left-wing groups in Israel organized a demonstration in

Tel Aviv Saturday night in support of the international

activists on the Rachel Corrie which was boarded by IDF

forces earlier in the day and directed to the port in Ashdod.


Members and supporters of NGOs Gush Shalom, Physicians

for Human Rights and Peace Now and the political

parties Hadash and Meretz organized the event,  which

started with a march from Rabin Square and culminated

with a rally of several thousand protesters at Museum

Plaza in Tel Aviv later in the evening.


The crowds marched under signs that read "the

government drowns us all" and called for a negotiated

solution that would lead to a Palestinian state and

joint-sovereignty over Jerusalem.


"Our deep respect  goes to  the small group of peace

activists on board the Rachel Corrie, who went on

sailing, unarmed and undaunted, and who now find

themselves in captivity for the crime of sailing  aid

to the people of Gaza," said Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller.


Another "Free Gaza" aid ship is currently docked in

Cyprus waiting to conduct another attempt to break the

blockade around Gaza, a senior IDF naval officer

revealed earlier Saturday.


The boat was supposed to have joined the earlier

attempts but has been delayed by technical difficulties

and the refusal of Cypriot authorities to allow their

territory to be used for the purpose of interfering

with Israel's blockade.


Elsewhere in the world, thousands of protesters took to

the streets around the Place de la Bastille in Paris on

Saturday to show solidarity with the "Free Gaza"

flotilla activists and the residents of Gaza.


Near the pro-Palestinian demonstration, a smaller group

of pro-Israel demonstrators made up largely from the

local Jewish community gathered to show their support

for the IDF's actions.


The British government also called on Israel to allow

an international investigation of the Mavi Marmara

incident and end the blockade.


"We continue to stress to the Israeli government the

importance of an investigation that ensures

accountability and commands the confidence of the

international community, and includes international

participation," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague.


Hague continued, "we urgently need to see unfettered

access to Gaza to meet the humanitarian needs of the

people of Gaza and to enable the reconstruction of

homes, livelihoods and trade. That is why we continue

to press the Government of Israel to lift Gaza's




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