14:36 , 09.08.06


Rabin Square Rally
Photo: Ofer Amram Signing reserve duty soldiers' petition Photo: Ofer Amram
click here to enlarge text click here to enlarge text
Reservist protestors: We're being silenced

Reserve duty soliders, Movement for Quality Government expect tens of thousands of people to attend rally demanding official commission of inquiry on Saturday night in Rabin Square; organizers say that 'there are attemts to silence us'
Ilan Marciano

The level of support for the public struggle for the establishment of an official commission of inquiry on the war in Lebanon will become known on Saturday night, when reserve duty soldiers and the Movement for Quality Government will hold a rally in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.


“The people want an official commission of inquiry, and the people will express their opinion in the square,” said Brigadier General Reuven Bankler (res.), one of the rally’s organizers.


Even Colonel Amnon Nahmias (res.) seemed confident during an interview with Ynet on Friday morning: “We are ready for tomorrow, and we expect tens of thousands to attend the rally. Our demand is appropriate and we will keep demanding until it will come true.”


“If only several hundreds will attend the rally, we will need to give much thought about the Israeli public. But there is no chance that will happen because there are thousands of people who care about the country and they will be many participators. Anyone who thinks like me should come to the square, and only then will we be able to show what the Israeli public really thinks.”


Brigadier General Bankler said that the organizers already contacted over 25,000 people by phone who signed the petition.


“Furthermore, we plan on sending out 25,000 text messages to the rest of the people who signed the petition, particularly soldiers on reserve duty who we didn’t get a chance to contact,” he said.


“There is a collective effort to silence us. Hundreds of signs we’ve put up were taken down after only and hour and a half. If only the government would have been as effective on other issues as it is in taking down signs, our situation in the war would have surely been fantastic. We are really fighting for the homeland. If the public administration and the army administration has no good basis, we will be the ones to suffer the consequences. We are doing this in favor of the nation. Anybody who thinks that it’s enough to take care of himself is wrong.”


Olmert is a wimp

Bankler criticized Olmert’s decision to establish a couple of government committees of examination and not an official commission of inquiry led by a judge. “Olmert is a wimp. He avoids doing what the people want. But the prime minister’s humiliating actions will not help him because the people will have its say.”


The rally will feature several keynote speakers such as former Defense Minister Moshe Arens (Likud). Excerpts of videos from the war will be screened during the rally, and there will also be special performances by Danny Litani, Miki Gavrielov, Danny Robas and Etti Ankri.


Dorit Siton contributed to the report