About 25,000 people took part in a march in central Tel Aviv on Saturday evening supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
The march ended with a rally at the Tel Aviv Museum. MKs Dov Khenin (Hadash), Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor), Nino Abesadze (Kadima), and Zahava Galon (Meretz); the Mayor of Nazareth Ramez Jeraisy; the editor in chief of Al Ittihad communist newspaper and well-known feminist activist Aida Touma-Sliman; and playwright Yehoshua Sobol gave speeches.
Numerous political parties and peace groups — including Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality-Communist Party of Israel), Labor, Meretz, the Derech faction of Kadima, Peace Now, Combatants for Peace, Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah, and Gush Shalom — organized for this march. Among the marchers were a number of other current and former Knesset members: MKs Muhammad Barake (Hadash), Afu Agbaria (Hadash), Hanna Sweid (Hadash), Ilan Gilon (Meretz), and Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz); former MKs Issam Makhoul (Hadash), Tamar Gozansky (Hadash), Haim Oron (Meretz), and the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Israel, Muhammad Nafa’h.
Some marchers held signs reading “Palestinian State — An Israeli Interest,” “Bibi, Recognize the Palestinians,” and “Yes, We KEN [which means “yes” in Hebrew].” Other signs said, “Yes to Peace” and “Jews and Arabs Refuse to Be Enemies.” The demonstrators also carried Palestinian, Israeli, and red flags.
Several dozen right-wing activists, wrapped up in Israeli flags, held a counter-rally at the starting point of the march in Rabin Square. During the march, two left-wing activists were arbitrarily arrested by the police.
A veteran Communist Party member, Prof. Yenina Altman, 80, came all the way from Haifa to attend the march. “It’s important for me to express the desire to see the Palestinians independent,” she told. “I came from Poland after my entire family perished. I had been in a ghetto and a concentration camp. I would like to have my country show respect for the Palestinians and recognize their right to an independent state just as we desired for ourselves.”
A member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Israel, Rawda Murcus, from the Galilee town of Kafr Yasif said, “We hope that acts of protest like this will grow stronger and cause a change necessary for an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
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