Peace Now activists hung dozens of Israeli and Syrian flags along the road leading from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Tuesday morning, this following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s statement that he would be willing to engage in direct negotiations with Damascus.
Flags at the entrance to Jerusalem (Photo: Dolev Gottleib)
“We wanted to convey the message that the public wants the government must prevent the next war and try to reach an agreement with Syria,” Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer told Ynet.
“In the past few months Syria has been indicating that it is willing to negotiate, and the alternative to this would be war.”
'The alternative is war.' Flags hung by Peace Now (Photo: Dolev Gottleib)
The initiative was part of the group’s “Talk to Syria Now” campaign.
This Thursday, the first anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, Peace Now plans to hold a rally in which it will call for the resumption of talks with Syria.
In an interview with al-Arabiya Monday evening Olmert said, “Bashar Assad, I am willing to conduct direct peace negotiations with you, but you continuously say that you would be willing to hold talks only through the Americans.”
Former US envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross told Ynetnews that "there is a risk of war" between Israel and Syria this summer. “Nobody has made any decision (about going to war), but the Syrians are positioning themselves for war," he said in an exclusive interview published over the weekend.
Right-wing activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir filed a police complaint against the members of Peace Now, stating that Syria is an enemy nation and therefore it is forbidden by law to fly its flags.