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Israelis to protest Iran attack amid growing web campaign

Following a growing number of online grassroots peace initiatives, activists are calling for the first significant demonstration against the sounding war drums.

First came the Iranian women, with a series of video clips made especially for International Women’s Day, speaking out against war from a feminist perspective. Then came the Israeli reply, with the Coalition of Women for Peace publishing a declaration stating they “oppose the inflammatory rhetoric of war mongers and the recently advertised plan of the Israeli government to attack Iran. Such an assault is not likely to stop the Iranian nuclear plan, but is likely to lead to regional war, loss of human life and a long term environmental damage.”

To this the Iranian group responded with enthusiasm, and called for an end to militarization and sanctions. In an interview with Ha’aretz (Hebrew), one of the Iranian women said that while her group began the struggle, resistance to the war is spreading throughout many groups in Iran.

 

Then, on Saturday night, online anti-war activism took a sharp rise following an Israeli couple’s initiative to dedicate “love posters” to the Iranian people. The Israeli posters were soon answered by Iranian ones, and today a new Facebook photo album started giving voice to Iranians who are not only against the war, but also openly criticize their government’s nuclear vision, stating they seek only peace and democracy.

Iranian man against the war and the bomb (source: Iran for Peace and Democracy)

Iranian man against the war and the bomb (source: Iran for Peace and Democracy)

Perhaps it was all of these web grassroots initiatives that led several Israeli activists to declare an anti-war demonstration, set to take place this coming Saturday night. Within hours, some 700 Israelis said they would attend – a considerable number in such short time and for such a cause, in local terms. “We will not agree to an irresponsible Israeli attack in Iran, leading to a war with an unknown end-date and casualty count,” write the activists. “Polls show: Most of the Israeli public opposes the attack being planned by Netanyahu. Even the leading brass of the Israeli security establishment, past and present, opposes such an attack.”

They then go on to blame Netanyahu for planning a war in order to divert public attention from burning social and economic questions that set ablaze the summer J14 protest, and could get people out on the streets again this coming spring or summer. “But this week, we saw something amazing. The internet allowed us to convey messages to citizens on the other side and receive messages back from them. Messages of peace, solidarity and hope. This exciting and refreshing dialogue leads to one clear conclusion: we, the citizens of Israel and Iran, are not enemies. Our leaders are inciting a disastrous war – and we’re all trying to prevent it. Instead of being dragged into a regional war – we demand a solution of peace among all the region’s peoples.”

Poster for the demonstration on Saturday

Poster advertising the demonstration on Saturday

It now remains to be seen if the same fear of war, the same faith and hope, the same humanly brotherhood and sisterhood that got Israelis to write messages of love and peace to Iranians – will also get them out on the streets to protest against the government’s war plans.

Read also:

Israeli-Iranian solidarity exchange sweeps Facebook

Iranians in the elevator: Getting to know the chosen foe

Polls: Israelis fear unilateral strike more than Iranian bomb

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  • COMMENTS

    1. thank you your splendid efforts: love over hate, peace over war, life over death. every good wish.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Jogortha

      If this materializes, it’d put a lot of the pro-israel crowd cheering Netanyahu in the US in a delicate position.. it’d be really a tough one to spin..

      Reply to Comment
    3. Steve

      Actually, the the pro-israel crowd cheering Netanyahu would LOVE it if Iran backed off and stopped threating Israel, and stopped funding Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and stopped possibly developing nukes, etc. Focusing on LIFE and HAPPINESS would be much better than having to focus on security against wackjobs who want to harm Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Shaun

      Wow 700 Israeli said they would attend… more Blah Blah from the ideologically vanishing left of center in Israel still trying to prove their relevance.

      I’m sure the organizers will be trilled when their “protest” is attended by a cross section of Tel-Aviv yuppies, +972 lap dogs and draft dodgers. (a real true representation of Israel today)

      Reply to Comment
    5. Jogortha

      Steve, you never disappoint. Let’s try this again, try to focus for a change: if big demonstrations turn up in Tel Aviv against war with Iran, then what influence will that have on the pro-Netanyahu crowd’s effort to push the US administration to attack Iran in an election year?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Steve

      The pro-Netanyahu crowd cares about protecting Israel. If Iran seems like a SERIOUS NUCLEAR THREAT then they might push for war. If Iran seems to back off, they probably won’t. This has nothing to do with what street protests support or don’t support.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Jogortha

      Steve,

      Well, I don’t know who to believe, Meir Dagan former Mossad leader who specifically characterized the idea of attacking Iran now as “the dumbest possible idea.” or Should I believe Netanyahu talking of a strike as a matter of months? Also, when %65 of Israelis say they’re against a unilateral strike, your “this has nothing to do with street protest” become very unconvincing.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Steve

      Nobody WANTS to have to attack Iran, whether pro-Netanyahu or not. The whole issue is if Iran is developing nukes and if they would actually use them on Israel, or give them to people who would.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Jogortha

      Steve, the facts beg to differ, Meir Dagan who is no lefty, came out publicly saying very much that the attack now was a dumb idea. The Prime Minister, through his statements and diplomatic maneuvers, has been pushing the US exactly for that end. Therefore, you can’t just say “no one wants to have to attack Iran” because that is just not true. There’s someone pushing for an immediate attack on Iran, and there’s another group of people who are opposed to that course of action.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Steve

      A handful of individual people may be pushing for one thing, or another thing.
      .
      I am speaking in general about average random pro-Netanyahu people. None of them that I know “WANT” an attack on Iran. THe issue is whether one is NECESSARY to possibly save Israel from future attack.

      Reply to Comment
    11. John Yorke

      OK, OK It’s a very unfair world and that’s something unlikely to change anytime soon.

      Protests against how the world is today might go some way towards changing it but, let’s face facts; the odds of that happening to any great extent are minimal at best, non-existent at worst.

      A question:
      What would change world opinion in its views on Israel and Palestinians?

      1.Rational argument won’t do it. The world is not always a rational place.

      2.Cultural distinctiveness and religious backgrounds don’t help much. These can lead to all sorts of trouble, especially when they seem to take precedence over more down-to-earth matters.

      3.The legal system is too painfully slow for proper justice to prevail. And judgement delayed is so often judgement denied.

      4.Intellectual rigour on both sides does not overly impress. The same old whys and wherefores have been trotted out so many times before. They have ceased to even remotely address the stark realities of the overall situation.

      The only way Israelis and Palestinians can hope to reverse world opinion is to surprise it; to do the unexpected and make the general mass of humanity sit up and take notice. Otherwise Israelis and Palestinians, Jews in general and Arabs the world over will begin to have no special status reserved for them in the minds of men.

      And so, if Jews and Palestinians are in the market for a surprise package, this might prove an interesting one to open.

      http://yorketowers.blogspot.com

      Reply to Comment

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