Peace and Communist activists and two Knesset members from the Joint List participated in a protest demonstration organized by Hadash in Central Tel Aviv Tuesday evening, November 12, near the headquarters of the Likud in the heart of the city.
The protest was called after Israel conducted a targeted assassination of a senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza early Tuesday morning, an attack that predictably ignited escalated military violence.
The demonstrators called for a halt to the violence on both sides, but emphasized Israel’s role in the bloodshed as a result of its 52-year-long occupation of the Palestinian territories and its 12-year-long blockade of Gaza.
Addressing the crowd, Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman attacked Blue & White leader MK Benny Gantz who had announced Tuesday morning that he supported the military operation in which Islamic Jihad leader, Baha Abu al-Ata, was killed in his home along with his wife: “What exactly did you support − planned murder; the beginning of a bloody war? You had the opportunity to show that you intend to lead different policies, other politics; that you’re not standing still.” Touma-Sliman declared, “From here, from Tel Aviv, I call out to our people in Gaza and say: There are decent people in Israel who want peace and do not want to live at war. Hold on. Eventually the occupation will come to an end.”
Hadash MK Ofer Cassif, told the protestors: “We are standing up here against an mad government headed by a man who cares nothing about anyone but himself. This man will burn down the house on top of us all if he just believes doing so will prevent his go to jail. If there is no freedom and liberation in Gaza, southern Israel will not be quiet either.”
Hundreds of protesters, among them former Hadash MK Dov Khenin, carried signs declaring, among other things, “Opposition to the Occupation,” “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies,” and “When the government is against the people the people are against the government.” Touma-Sliman, Cassif and Khenin are members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Israel.