Gush Shalom: Another Protest & Media Digest
TEL-AVIV, SATURDAY, JULY 22
ANTI-WAR COALITION PLANS ANOTHER PROTEST
March starting at Rabin Square early evening
[ One'days blood toll / Adam Keller in Amsterdam / Reservist refuser from Sderot / Reports, photos and video of the July 17 demo / 'End it Now' by Susie Becher on Ynet / Zvi Bar'el in Ha'aretz on inavoidable Nasrallah / Letters from Beirut ]
One week of the Big Madness in Lebanon, three weeks in Gaza. Today's death toll: at least 54 Lebanese killed in the Israeli Air Force bombings, of them one (1) Hibbullah militant with the rest being civilians, including an unspecified number of children; two Israeli children killed in a rocket attack on Nazareth and two soldiers killed during an incursion into Lebanese territory which also took the lives of an unspecified number of Lebanese militants; six Palestinians killed in the disregarded Gaza Strip fighting, and three more on an Israeli army raid into Nablus...
At such times, it is our task to make the voice of dissent and protest sound as loud and clear as possible. In addition to Uri Avnery's extra article of analysis, we bring you the news of Staff Sergeant Itzik Shabat, the first conscientious objector and military rebel of the new war; and we provide links to several other pieces by people who had not entirely lost their minds, as well as to reports of Sunday's anti-war march in Tel-Aviv. (To those who can't be in the next and probably bigger Tel-Aviv demo, planned for the coming Saturday, a description will be availalbe on the Gush Shalom website by Saturday night or Sunday morning.)
Meanwhile, Adam Keller of Gush Shalom (who is at the Netherlands for the next few days) will be among the speakers at an anti-War demonstration to be held in Amsterdam on the same Saturday, July 22. Contact: +31-6-20571487
"Someone has to be the first to break the silence and it will be me"
The Lebanon 2006 war has produced its first conscientious objector - Staff Sergeant Itzik Shabbat, a 28-year-old TV producer, who is a resident of Sderot. "I know people will attack me and ask how could I refuse to take part in this war when Qassams are falling on my hometown and Katyushas on the towns in the north. But only this type of opposition will put an end to the ongoing madness and shatter the false feeling that the entire home front supports this unnecessary war. Someone has to be the first to break the silence, and it will be me. It is a shame that my mobilization order was signed by a fellow Sderot resident, Defense Minister Peretz."
A thousand protestors: stop the war monstrosity
Some 1,000 protestors joined Sunday evening [July 17] in a rally in Tel Aviv to protest the IDF strikes in Southern Lebanon. Police have arrested three of the protesters claiming they were holding a demonstration without a permit. The protesters chanted "Olmert agreed with Bush: War and occupation." "Stop the war monstrosity," and "Say no to the brutal bombardments". They also accused Defense Minister Amir Peretz of murdering children: "Peretz, don't worry, we'll be seeing you at The Hague." (...) Also on Sunday, a women's protest was held next to the central Haifa train depot where a Hezbollah rocket landed a few hours earlier, killing eight people. They were organised by a new group of Arab and Jewish women against the war.
From the Y-Net News report of the July 17 anti-war demo in Tel-Aviv
Photos (Heb/Eng captions)
"Social TV" video (in Hebrew, but quite comprehensible to non-speakers of the languague)
End it Now
by Susie Becher
(a rare dissenting voice in the mainstream media)
Both PM Olmert and Defense Minister Peretz keep praising the public's stamina, with the not-so-hidden message that to voice opposition is to play into the hands of the enemy. This glorification of consensus and de-legitimization of political or popular protest poses a greater threat to Israel than the missiles being fired from the north. By making our ability to suffer in silence a test of our loyalty and bravado, the government is engaging in psychological warfare against its own citizens.
Nasrallah's terms of surrender will be hard to change
Sober analysis from Zvi Bar'el of Haaretz, 19/07/2006
After all that has taken place so far in Lebanon, nothing has succeeded in altering the basic equation: Any diplomatic solution will have to pass through the Lebanese political grinder and gain Hezbollah's agreement. "Everything is up in the air" according to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, including direct and indirect talks with Hezbollah, and therefore nothing has changed since before the outbreak of fighting.
Three letters from Beirut (the voice which Israelis hardly hear)
Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that the leadership of Hezbollah are not acquainted with "The Society of the Spectacle". (...) I never thought Nasrallah was charismatic. A huge majority of people do. He survived the Israeli attempt on his life and addressed the nation by phone, thirty minutes later. (...) Now, he announced, the warship that had bombed the southern suburb was in flames and its personnel was drowning. "Look at it!", he said, this is one of the many surprises we have saved for the Zionist army... And he fell silent. By the time he had spoken his words, it was too late to catch sight of the warship being hit, all that cameras captured was a huge ball of fire in the open sea.(...) . The news of the downed warship spread fear in our hearts. We were sure the retaliation would be numbing in violence.