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May 4, 2007

what a rally!

The rally was great. I am happy I went. I got there a little early and walked around the grounds as it was beginning to fill up. I took pictures of a bunch of different signs, you can see some of them below (I tried to upload more but blogger was giving me problems with it..).

The rally had a distinct secular feel to it. I have been to a lot of hafganot over the nearly 17 years I have been in Israel. Rallies of all types supported by all sorts of groups. This was unique. Almsot all rallies are supported by a political party. Almost all rallies are sectarian, to a degree. Religious, settler, right-wing, left-wing, kach, whatever.

This rally was none of the above. The rally had no affiliation with any political party and no politician was invited to speak. The exception to that was the rally organizer who is a politician wannabe. He ran in the last national elections under a party (Tafnit) he had formed, but failed to win any seats in Knesset. He was the main organizer of the event, and while he is involved (sort of) in politics, he organized it as a reserve duty officer, not as a political representative,

The rally was completely mixed between religious and non-religious. I think the percentages of non-religious were greater than religious. I might be wrong, but that was the impression I had. Of all my friends who I asked if they would be going, not a single one told me yes. They all said it would be mostly non-religious, and they wanted to leave this one for them. They did not want it to seem like a settler protest, or anything similar. So a lot of people stayed away, and, I think, while it was very mixed, it was overall non-religious.

Everybody stood together with one goal. To tell Olmert he must resign. The speakers I heard were great (I left a little early, so I did not hear them all) and they gave over their messages clearly and strongly.

As I was walking around before it began, an older, secular fellow came over to me and said (in Hebrew), "I am surprised you are here." I looked at him and said, "Why are you surprised? I am part of the nation - one of the people. I am here for the same thing you are here for." He shook my hand and moved along. I later met some people from Ramat Aviv (a mostly secular elitist stronghold in Tel Aviv) who also expressed their happiness to see me, being I was clearly religious and probaly from the right-wing side of the political spectrum.

After all is said and done - I doubt lmert will resign because of this rally He will ignore it. He does not care what the people think. That is obvious. But I had to so my part, and I am happy I did.



  1. "The speakers I heard were great"

    who else spoke?

    "an older, secular fellow came over to me . . ."

    why would he be surpised to see dattiyyim? i would think he would expect to see them at an anti-olmert rally.

    what is the meaning of phishlonrim (from the pictures)

  2. that would be "kishlonerim" - meaning "failures".

    It happened before the rally when it was almost completely just non-religious people, as people were only starting to come. Also, it was not really billed as a religious thing. There were musicians and singers and stuff. So even though there were a lot of religious people there, overall it had a strong secular atmosphere...

    Meier Shalev spoke. He is a journalist. He was great except for one sentence in which he overstepped his bounds and got booed badly. He did not get much of an applause when he finished. he upset everyone, even the secular, by the one extra sentence he threw in.

    The head of the reserves protest spoke (Roni Ziggleboim (sp?)). Somebody from Sderot (not sure what his position was).
    Uzi Dayan.
    A father who lost his son in Lebanon II.

  3. oh, i thought that was a peh. now i see it is a kaf.

    "He is a journalist. He was great except for one sentence . . ."

    which would be?


  4. Now we understand hwat 40 years of Israeli occupation has brought us.

  5. Rafi,
    By the same sentiment of the religious crowd "lets leave it to the seculars" maybe thats what they say by a minachal oriented protest? maybe they were saying "hey ziv, ma zeh ? no mitnachalim here! why do we gotta do everything!"

    But you may have a point, though I dont think haaretz will love the crowd either way...

    I think alot of mitnachal / datim in army uniforms / shrts shouldf have gone...

    If there were 500 datim wearing tzanchan or givati shirts it would have made a impresion.

  6. B"H I think the protest rally was a good idea. But, Baruch Marzel makes a good point. Who was behind the protest? Uzi Dayan of Tafnit, one after Olmert's own heart, only probably worse, if he really believe's in his policies. I believe there were definitely ulterior motives for this protest taking place. See http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/125797 for more.

  7. ben-yehuda - that was a consideration and he had a point. However, the point was not a change in policy. The point of the rally was Olmert go Home. What comes after Olmert was not really the issue and was not even raised. So yes, Uzi Dayan ran the show and he is not necessarily someone after my heart, but those issues were not on the agenda last night. So I felt it was more important to go.

    elchonon - yes. That is correct. But normally it has been difficult for the left-wing to get their people out to protests. They just don't like to show up to such things. So it was good to see so many left-wing and secular Jews going. That really made an impression. Even these guys who normally don't go, went.

  8. "But normally it has been difficult for the left-wing to get their people out to protests. They just don't like to show up to such things."

    that is probably for the best

  9. Rafi, I'm glad you went. Olmert may not respond to this rally - or to any one particular event - but it adds to the combined pressure that will ultimately force him out. Besides, sometimes a rally is more than just its message. Sometimes it is a good moment of much-needed unity, venting and healing.


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