The protesters, who marched from Hen Boulevards toward King George Street, chanted slogans such as "Olmert agreed with Bush: War and occupation." "Stop the war monstrosity," and "Say no to the brutal bombardments on Gaza." They also accused Defense Minister Amir Peretz of murdering children in Gaza, and recited: "Peretz, don't worry, we'll be seeing you at The Hague."
Rally in Tel Aviv. 'No to brutal bombardments' (Photo: Eli Elgarat)
"They keep telling us that there is a consensus in support of the war, and that's not true. They keep telling the citizens that this is the only way, and I think that there is another way," said Abeer Kopty of Mossawa, The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel.
The organizations Ta'ayush, Yesh Gvul, The Women's Coalition for Peace and other left-wing groups have joined forces "to voice a different opinion against the war and in favor of negotiations," she explained.
'Israel is overreacting'
Eitan Lerner, who took part in the rally, said: "Israel is entering another cycle of fighting and continues the foolishness of exaggerated aggression. I came here to protest because there's a link between starving and oppressing the Palestinians and the bombings in Lebanon."
"It's true that what Hizbullah did was unacceptable, but Israel is overreacting. Since when is the entire population to blame for all this?" he asked.
Rela Mazali from the New Profile organization explained: "This is a stupid, unnecessary and evil war. Our leaders could have prevented it. eventually the hostages will be released through negotiations, but hundreds will be killed along the way in Lebanon, and I don't know how many will die here. I think that we must make our voice heard."
Manal Amuri from Jerusalem called on the Israeli government to hold talks with Hamas and Hizbullah. "The Israeli aggression leads to an overall war no one wants. I think that Israel should negotiate with Hizbullah and Hamas and release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the hostages. This way this story will come to an end."
"What Israel is doing now resulted in the death of civilians, innocent children, and it serves no purpose except for the government's vindictiveness. I think it's good we're showing that there are Arab and Jewish citizens in Israel who oppose the war."
Protesting against 'second Lebanon war'
MK Dov Hanin of Hadash told Ynet: "We are protesting against the second Lebanon war. The war is a disaster for Israelis, Palestinians and Lebanese. We call for the secession of this war, for the secession of harm to Israeli and Lebanese civilians, we demand an immediate ceasefire and the commencement of negotiations which is the only alternative to a catastrophic regional deterioration."
To the question that no minister has expressed opposition to the war he said: "Also during t he 1982 Lebanon war Hadash was the only one that opposed the war from day one and also in the second Lebanon war. I am sure that opposition to the war will swiftly intensify."
"I regret that Amir Peretz has stepped into the shoes of Mofaz; I regret that no member of the Labor and Meretz parties voiced opposition to the war."
Noa Levi of Tel Aviv said: "The choice of whether to escalate the situation or not is in our hands and the question of saving lives or not is also in our hands…there is no military solution. Only negotiations."
Lavi Zeitner supported her position: "I am not for violence, not for Hizbullah. But also not for bombarding a whole country."