Peace Now protest
Photo: Avi Mualem
Ashdod port. Waiting for ships
Photo: AP

Leftists protest raid, rightsts slam Turkey

Peace Now activists protest deadly military raid, while National Youth Movement members blame Ankara for 'two-faced conduct'. Policeman injured during Arab protest in Haifa

Members on both the Left and the Right political spectrum on Monday held protests across the country. A few dozen Peace Now activists gathered Monday morning in Tel Aviv and headed to the Ashdod Port to protest against the military seizure of the Gaza flotilla ships, which ended with at least 10 killed and 50 pro-Palestinians injured.


The left-wing activists gathered in Lewinsky Garden and carried cameras and signs. "I am speechless, there is a sense of shame," said Tal Bargles. "We are shocked. We couldn't believe Israel would go so far.


"We are going to protest in Ashdod while waiting for the ships. It’s a shame that they cannot find a solution other than a military one. If the ships would have arrived in Gaza with the supplies – nothing would have happened," she said.


Several passersby criticized the leftist gathering: "It's a shame that Israelis act this way in their own country," said Itzik.


"They think these people want peace? These kinds of protestors cause the biggest damage to the country. It's too bad no action is taken against anarchists who harm us," he added.


Injured officer at Haifa University rally (Photo: Avisag She'ar Yeshuv) 


Meanwhile, dozens of youths from the National Youth Movement protested in front of the Turkish Embassy. The movement's guidance coordinator Itamar Sharoni said they were protesting against Turkish hypocrisy. "The Turks are acting in a two-faced manner and are supporting Hamas."


The protesters called for the release of Gilad Shalit and claimed Turkish backing of Hamas was endangering his life. "We say the blockade on Gaza will be removed once Gilad is freed," said Sharoni, adding that "the Turkish government's support of Hamas is like a death sentence to Gilad Shalit."


A policeman was lightly injured Monday afternoon while clashing with Arab protestors at Haifa University. Hundreds of Arab students attended the rally, which was not approved by the university's management, in protest of the deadly raid. One of the demonstrators was arrested.


Jewish students who confronted the Arabs called out pro-IDF slogans and waved Israeli flags.


Ranin Nicola, a Haifa University student and member of Hadash, said the protest "exposed the brutal behavior of the university's management, which violated international law by not allowing legitimate protest and summoning police to the campus."


Haifa University Student Union chairman Roee Ben Shlush said the rally was an attempt by elements outside the campus to escalate tensions. "We never expected civilian casualties and we regret the injuries to the soldiers, but had this been a peaceful flotilla the outcome would have been different," he said.


Ahiya Raved contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 05.31.10, 13:31
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