Left upset over anti-war coverage

Claim over 100 anti-war demos have barely received any media attention.

August 8, 2006 01:40
1 minute read.

More than 100 political demonstrations across the country against the operations in Lebanon have been held since the violence began on July 12, but they have barely received any media attention, organizers of the events complained on Monday. On Monday alone, small demonstrations were held in Jerusalem, Herzliya and the Megiddo Junction, attracting virtually no attention. Regular protests have been held in Haifa, but they were canceled on Monday due to Sunday's rocket attacks in the city. A large demonstration is being planned for Haifa on Thursday that will follow up on other large rallies held recently on Saturday nights in Tel Aviv. The latest rally, this past Saturday night, attracted 3,000 protesters but received only seven sentences in Ha'aretz and no coverage at all in the other three major Israeli dailies. "Criticism of the war has been contained and curtailed," complained former Meretz MK Naomi Chazan, who addressed the rally and called for an immediate cease-fire. "In a democratic country, when there is a war, alternative voices are heard, but it hasn't been happening now. Especially when things in Lebanon are so unclear, it is needed more than ever. [The lack of coverage] has been very upsetting." One of the reasons the events have not been covered is that they have not attracted support from mainstream organizations on the Left like Peace Now and the Meretz Party. Instead they have been organized by groups further to the left like Gush Shalom, Women Against Violence and the Hadash Party. The only Jewish MK who has addressed the rallies is Hadash's Dov Henin. But several former MKs have spoken, including former Labor MK Yael Dayan, who was reportedly silenced when she called for Hizbullah to stop firing at Israelis. Chazan said the operations in Lebanon had created immense confusion for all Israelis, especially those on the Left. She predicted that the number of people attending the demonstrations would continue growing and that criticism would grow after a cease-fire. Abir Kopty, a spokeswoman for Women Against Violence and one of the organizers of the rallies, said she believed that the attacks in Haifa would only convince more people to protest the operations in Lebanon. "We have to continue to express our position, especially after the attacks," Kopty said. "The attacks will only give us more energy to demonstrate."

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