Two weeks after being stationed in Jerusalem, the soldiers understood that because of the hot weather, the summer vacation, and the post-war reality, much of the public prefers to stay home even if it supports the protest.
Supporting the struggle (Photo: Ofer Amram)
The bystanders were enthused by the "guests," expressed their support of the struggle and took green ribbons as a symbol of solidarity with the soldiers.
The reservists also handed out stickers and t-shirts that read "You were given authority – take responsibility!" and asked citizens to sign the petition that calls for the resignation of the political and military leadership – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz.
"We are now organized and are working towards bringing down the government and creating a change in the military system," said Yakir Segev, one of the protest leaders. "We know it will not be a matter of days, it will take time and we will keep struggling. We saw some senior officials who joined us – for example former Chief of Staff (Moshe) Yaalon, and we keep going."
People sign petition (Photo: Ofer Amram)
'Chief of staff cannot keep post'
Shagav denied the claims that rightists with political interests were behind the soliders and said: "It is simply not true. I am actually disappointed by the Right, which was supposed to serve as an alternative to Olmert, and they are not doing their job and they are not doing anything to oust the government. I am also disappointed by Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu and the other side, and also by Yossi Beilin. They are simply not doing their job.
"We will do everything to ensure an appropriate inquiry in the military. There is a severe leadership crisis on every military echelon and this is why the chief of staff cannot keep his post. I believe that he will finally resign because in light of the breach of trust that was created, he cannot keep his post."
Display of cardboard figures representing the fallen (Photo: Yoav Galai)
Roni Zweigenbaum, 27, one of the leaders of the struggle, said they will open 20 different sites across the country where people would be able to sign the petition.
15,000 signitures to date
"Until now we have not reached Tel Aviv, but certainly not because it's 'a bubble.'," he said. "That's ridiculous – there is no difference between Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. We will reach every area in the country because we know that there are people who can't reach us. Until today, we got 15,000 people to sign the petition and I believe there will be many more."
The leaders of the struggle also announced a protest in front of the General Staff in Tel Aviv, which will take place on Sunday, September 10 at 6:30 p.m. They invited interested members of the public from Sheinkin to come and join them.
The soldiers also displayed 120 cardboard figures that were placed in memory of those who died during the war in Lebanon. The figures are the same ones the soldiers use for target practice. The three kidnapped soldiers are represented by taller figures (full body shapes) and the rest are shorter (head targets).