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MKs join protest against Russian support of Damascus
By ERIC BERGER
06/13/2012
Russia’s refusal to support the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad motivated protest outside its embassy.
 
Russia’s refusal to support the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad motivated protesters to gather Tuesday outside the hotel hosting a Russian embassy party.

The protesters stood near the entrance to the Hilton Hotel on Hayarkon Street and chanted “Syrian people call for help” alternately in Hebrew, Russian and English. Russia has used its veto at the UN Security Council to prevent Western forces from interfering in Syria, but pressure has increased in recent weeks as government forces continue to massacre innocent civilians, notably women and children.

Joining the protest was MK Ayoub Kara (Likud) who was invited to the embassy’s event but said he could not comfortably attend while the government used chemical weapons against women and children in Syria.

“I might be damaging myself politically because the policy of the Israeli government is not to get involved, but I’m here as a citizen,” Kara said.

The protest coincided with similar gatherings at Russian embassies worldwide, all aimed at increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Several organizations collaborated to mount what the protesters called an apolitical rally.

The embassy event was in honor of the Russia Day holiday. As MKs Afo Agbaria (Hadash) and Orit Zuaertz (Kadima) arrived to the hotel in taxis, protesters chanted “Member of Knesset, don’t be a part of the killing of children.” Baroch Oren, a software engineer who attended the protest, said before supporting Assad’s removal, Russia could start by halting the sale of weapons to the Syrian government, which are used against civilians.

This was not the first instance of criticism against Russia’s blind sale of weapons. Amnesty International organized a protest in April of hundred of Sudanese refugees before the Russian embassy to voice opposition to the sale of weapons from Russia to the Sudanese government.
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