(photo credit: REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)
Dozens of Israeli artists and academics on Thursday proclaimed their support for
the Palestinian United Nations statehood bid, outside Independence Hall on
Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv.
The setting was symbolic, held outside
the same building where David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the independence of the
state of Israel on May 14, 1948.
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Earlier on Thursday, the group of 82
intellectuals and artists published a declaration supporting the establishment
of a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, lines. At the demonstration,
the public was invited to sign their names alongside the declaration.
declaration reads: “We, the undersigned, call on all persons seeking peace and
freedom, and upon all nations to join us in welcoming the Palestinian
Declaration of Independence, to support it and to work and act together in order
to encourage the citizens of both countries to live together in peace, based on
the ’67 borders and mutual agreement. A final and complete end to the occupation
is a basic condition for the freedom of both peoples, for the realization of
Israel’s Declaration of Independence and a future of peaceful
The signatories included actress and Israel Prize laureate
Gila Almagor-Agmon, former education minister and Israel Prize laureate Shulamit
Aloni, former OC IDF Chief Education Officer Maj.-Gen. (res.) Nehemiah Dagan,
and author and Israel Prize laureate Amos Oz.
Former ambassador Alon Liel
told the crowd that Israelis must support the Palestinian statehood bid and
ignore Washington’s impending Security Council veto of the
Liel called US President Barack Obama’s speech at the UN
General Assembly on Wednesday “a knockout punch to [Palestinian Authority
President] Mahmoud Abbas. A clearly anti- Palestinian US campaign speech. A
speech where he said the US supports the rebels in Tunisia, in Libya, in Egypt,
in Bahrain, but in Palestine? No. The Palestinians are something else because
they are facing Israel.
“It hurts to see a president like Obama, who
caused us to feel such great hope, dismiss Abu Mazen [Abbas], who has spent
three years working on the diplomatic track,” Liel said. “Obama and the US are
no longer running the world today; there is a larger international community
that can run the world.
The US doesn’t have the power to deal you this
In April, a group that included many of the same Israelis
proclaimed their support for a Palestinian state outside Independence
Thursday’s effort was significantly more low-key than the one in
April, in which many passersby booed and shouted at the protesters, and a number
of shoving matches broke out.
On Friday, Peace Now will also hold a
series of demonstrations in support of the Palestinian statehood
Titled “Israel says yes to the Palestinian state,” the initiative
will include rallies in north Tel Aviv at the corner of Arlozorov and Namir, in
Jerusalem under the Strings Bridge, in Kiryat Ono, and in Haifa.