Monday, June 12, 2006
ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN PROTEST (AND WHAT HAPPENED NEXT)
A protest staged by a group, including President Ehud Olmert’s daughter, Dana, outside the home of IDF Chief-of-Staff Dan Halutz calling him a “murderer” for his role in the Gaza shelling last week has outraged hard-line right-wingers.
Meanwhile, the Israeli press also questioned the attack and Yediot Aharonot newspaper ran the head line “Tragedy on Gaza Beach.” David Grossman, an Israeli novelist, wrote in Maariv: "The image of the girl on the Gaza beach, whose life was torn to shreds before our very eyes, should pull us out of the hypnotic coma we have been in for years" and he asked how long they will accept being subjected to fatal attacks and retaliation.
The articles below are both from YNet News.
PM's daughter protests Gaza killings
Some 200 left-wing activists marched outside the house of IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz at the Tzahala neighborhood in Tel Aviv Saturday evening, to protest the killing of civilians in Gaza on Friday.
The demonstrators chanted slogans such as "Tzahala residents, there's a murderer in your neighborhood," and raised signs calling on the government to "put a stop to the murder of civilians" and stating, "Halutz is a killer, the intifada shall prevail." Activists also shouted, "neighbors, ask Halutz why he's killing children and how many."
Dana Olmert, the daughter of Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, also took part in the demonstration.
About 30 policemen arrived at the place to maintain order, but allowed the rally to proceed uninterrupted. Some of the neighborhood's residents, however, were less pleased with the disturbance and squirted water on the protesters from inside their houses.
Letter to Olmert: Stop war crimes
Five human rights organizations sent a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and defense Minister Amir Peretz, calling on them to act immediately in order to put an end to the killing of Palestinian civilians in the territories, and to "uproot the elements that contribute to this killing."
According to the letter, while it is Israel's duty to take all necessary measures in order to protect its citizens, it is however unacceptable for a sovereign state to employ illegal methods, which in some occasions constitute war crimes.
The groups stressed in the letter that one of Israel's obligations, according to humanitarian international law, is to minimize the ramifications of military operation on the civilian population, and to secure the wellbeing and safety of the Palestinian civilians even during battle.
Rightist files complaint against PM's daughter
Extreme rightist Itamar Ben-Gvir filed a complaint with the Hebron police Sunday against the prime minister's daughter Dana Olmert and the rest of the participants in a left-wing demonstration outside the house of Army Chief Dan Halutz Saturday evening to protest the killing of seven civilians in Gaza.
Dana Olmert takes part in left-wing demonstration outside army chief's house; protesters call Halutz 'murderer,' declare 'intifada shall prevail.' Meanwhile, human rights groups send letter to PM, defense minister, calling on them to stop war crimes in territories
Ben-Gvir presented the police with pictures from the rally depicting signs carried by the protesters that include the slogans, "Neighbors, ask Halutz why he murders children," and "Halutz is a murderer, the intifada shall prevail."
"Dana Olmert and her lefty friends should stand trial for calling the chief of staff a murderer," Ben-Gvir told Ynet. "I was tried and convicted for the same offense and received a suspended sentence. She should be convicted as well," he stated.
In 1997, Ben-Gvir faced trial after taking part in a demonstration against Knesset Member Ran Cohen (Meretz), during which he called the MK "a murderer." In addition to receiving a suspended sentence, Ben-Gvir was also ordered to pay a steep fine.
"If this was the ruling then, then it is only just and fair that Ms. Olmert and her friends stand trial for the same offense," Ben-Gvir.
The right-wing activists also claimed that about a year ago, the police barred him, his wife, and fellow rightist Baruch Marzel, from protesting outside the house of the chief military rabbi in Jerusalem, citing a regulation prohibiting demonstrations opposite the houses of army personnel.
"What is the reason for this discrimination? Why are left-wing activists allowed to do what right-wing activists are banned from doing?" he asked.
And Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, just minutes before boarding a plane to London, told reporters he had spoken with his daughter Dana about her participation in a left-wing demonstration outside the army chief's house on Saturday.
"We talk daily. Each of us is entitled to his own opinion, and to express them as well," he said.