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A Week Of Havoc - 500 Protest In Jerusalem

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 -

A week of havoc / 500 protest in Jerusalem / STOP THIS MAN

This year's rain - always welcome, in spite of the immediate hardships - was never welcomed more by the Palestinian population. The fighter planes which our government sent to bombard the Palestinian Authority into obedience were only interrupted now and then by the heavy rains and thunder storms which suddenly started. But the rains did not help the unlucky ones who needed medical help exactly now that transportation between cities and villages was cut off by renewed closure through ever higher mounds of earth making roads impassable.

(And maybe it is no coincidence that in such a week more women give birth prematurely, and more people need to be treated for heart attacks...) In reoccupied north Ramallah soldiers broke up the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, one of the best run of the Palestinian Authority's ministries, writing obscenities on the broken computers - all in the cause of fighting terrorism...

The Israeli government is in a victorious mood, victorious especially because the world keeps silent. True, there were some European leaders murmuring protest, but the US administration gave the Israeli government full support. It all gives the impression that the game of Sharon works: using every opportunity to escalate the conflict, and in the end forgetting altogether about giving up even one inch of occupied territory.

500 protest in Jerusalem

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Last Monday, on the night when Sharon got his cabinet to declare war on Arafat, a hasty mobilization by phone and email brought several dozens of us to the pavement outside the closely-guarded gate - to picket the Prime Minister's office and shout slogans of protest and defiance into the cold Jerusalem night. Tonight, the dozens have become about 500 people who gathered outside the Prime Minister's official residence, under the banner "There is no military solution!". The Peace Now initiators of the action were joined by contingents of Gush Shalom, Ta'ayush, Yesh Gvul and Women for Peace. Torches were lighted and banners spread: "The occupation is killing us" - "Return to Negotiations Now" - "Remove the Cause, not the Symptom" - "End the Occupation, to End the Bloodshed" - "International Intervention Now" - "Only negotiations can block terror" - "Evacuate the Settlements - Restore Security" - "Down with the Occupation".

"One, two, three, four, we don't want another war" chanted the energetic youngsters, and "Assassinations and bombs - hotbed for suiciders", and also the good old "Peace YES - Occupation NO!" There was no stir beyond the high wall. Was the PM actually in his residence? If he was, he could hardly miss that loud shout in unison.

At the end of the sidewalk, two activists hoisted up a large placard bearing a cartoon of a bellicose Sharon riding a tank, which had been originally made in 1982. Meanwhile, the youngsters started on a song - new words fitted to a rather militaristic song written originally during the 1967 war: "Arik will conquer Gaza and Rafiah / The soldiers will come back in coffins"...

Haim Oron of the opposition Meretz Party, former Minister of Agriculture, gave a short concluding note: "We all know that bombings and assassinations can achieve no real result. We are here to call for resumption of negotiations. And we know what that must mean: getting out of the territories, evacuating the settlements, peace between two states, Israel and Palestine. There is still a long struggle ahead. See you here again next week, same place, same time - Saturday night at 7.30. We are going on!".

STOP THIS MAN - December 7, ad in Ha'aretz by Gush Shalom


In 1982 he was going to "finish" the PLO.
In 2001 he is going to "eradicate" Arafat.
Always he promises to "root out terrorism."
Always it leads to the opposite.

Before elections he speaks of "security with peace"
See what came of it.

Before it is too late

Gush Shalom
pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033
phone: 03-5221732
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