Leftists sparked by Ya’alon protest in favor of peace process

Activists are inspired by defense minister's criticism of diplomatic path initiated by Kerry.

Yaalon and Liberman 370 (photo credit: Ariel Hermony/Defense Ministry)
Yaalon and Liberman 370
(photo credit: Ariel Hermony/Defense Ministry)

Hundreds of left-wing activists took to the streets on Thursday, hoisting signs at major junctions encouraging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to advance the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, and hundreds more are expected on Friday.

The activists have been inspired by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s criticism of the diplomatic process initiated by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
They said Netanyahu needed to be pushed from the Left, not just the Right.
Thursday’s protests, sponsored by Yesh Atid, were under the slogan “Departing from the Palestinians, departing to peace.”
Friday’s protests, sponsored by Meretz, will turn intersections into “peace junctions.”
"We cannot leave the streets in the hands of those who want to thwart any chance of a diplomatic horizon,” Yesh Atid’s chairman, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, said.
“Netanyahu needs to know he has support to bring a diplomatic agreement.”
All of Yesh Atid’s MKs participated in the protest. But Peace Now head Yariv Openheimer mocked the protest, saying he would only be impressed if they protest outside the home of the finance minister.
The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip will begin an advertising campaign this weekend that will warn of the dangers of Kerry’s plans.
Its supporters will protest in the streets on Friday under the slogan, “Keep the country safe – don’t surrender to Kerry.”
Likud and Yesh Atid MKs brought hundreds of activists to Judea and Samaria Thursday for Tu Bishvat tree-planting ceremonies.
“Our message is very clear,” said Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett, as he planted a tree in an outpost south of Hebron. “We are planting trees because we intend to stay here forever.”
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon led hundreds of Likud activists in planting trees in the Jordan Valley.
He said that whoever does not support maintaining Jordan Valley settlements or who does not believe that evacuating Jewish communities leads to missile attacks does not belong in Likud.
“We need to say clearly, whether the American administration likes it or not, that only a civilian and military presence can prevent terror, and satellites, sensors, and cameras cannot replace maintaining hold over the land,” Danon said.