peace now settlement rally 311.
(photo credit: MELANIE LIDMAN)
A group of left-wing intellectuals, among them 17 Israel Prize winners, gathered in front of Independence Hall on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Blvd. Thursday afternoon where they presented a document resembling the Israeli Declaration of Independence, albeit for a Palestinian state.
carrying signs and shouting "traitors," gathered on the opposite side of
the boulevard. Police were forced to physically separate the two sides.
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included several Israeli celebrities and intellectuals, including many Israel Prize winners and nominees. Hanna Maron,
the actress and winner of the Israel Prize, was heckled by the
right-wing counter-protesters while giving a speech.
Participants in the event carried placards and chanted slogans calling
on Israeli citizens, the government, the Knesset, citizens of the world
and their governments to recognize both the Israeli and Palestinian
their individual states. Meanwhile, counter-protesters waved Israeli
flags and shouted across the street that the Left had forgotten
events such as the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics and
the recent slaughter of the Fogel family in Itamar.
Police set up a barricade separating the two groups. Verbal altercations
and shouting matches broke out, but no arrests or injuries were
reported at the time of this report.
Responding to the events on Rothschild Boulevard , Defense Minister Ehud Barak called for calm.
"I call on everyone to show responsibility. The country is facing
fateful decisions and we all want a strong and secure Israel. There are
differences among us. There always have been and will be," Barak said.
"But these must worked through a different kind of public dialogue, one
which is moderate, responsible, and without the word traitor. One which
is without violence. Difficult challenges lie ahead, but we must
remember that we are all, at the end of the day, brothers," the defense