A report from Standing Together’s National Field Organiser (30 December)
We republish below a report on Standing Together’s recent activity from Uri Weltmann, National Field Organiser.
Many hundreds of Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel participated yesterday in a protest at Habima square in the center of Tel-Aviv [on 28 December], organised by Standing Together under the slogan “Only Peace Will Bring Security”. The participants were holding signs that read, in Hebrew and Arabic, “The Majority Demands: A Ceasefire Agreement”, as well as “Where There Is Struggle – There Is Hope”. This was the biggest peace demonstration inside Israel since the start of the war.
The rally was moderated by Omri Goren, a student organizer from Standing Together, as speeches were made by Ghadir Hani and Alon-Lee Green, from the leadership of Standing Together; Avi Dabush, a veteran peace activist living in the “Gaza Envelope”, whose family survived the October 7th massacre, and is now evacuated from his home. He is the Director General of “Rabbis for Human Rights”; Dr. Yael Adami, a founding leader of the movement “Women Wage Peace”; Dr. Ahmad Tibi, member of Knesset (The Israeli Parliament) and Chairperson of the Arab Movement for Change; Achinoam Nini (Noa), the internationally known singer-songwriter, who spoke and gave a musical performance; Bashir Aziadneh, a young Arab-Bedouin student from the southern town of Rahat, whose family members were kidnapped to Gaza on October 7th by Hamas terrorists; Yonatan Zeigen, the bereaved son of Vivian Silver, a veteran peace and feminist activist murdered in her home in Kibbutz Beeri on October 7th.
Speakers were calling for a ceasefire agreement to be reached through diplomatic channels, to allow for the release of the Israeli hostages and to stop the killing of innocent civilians. They further stressed that security for the people in Israel can only come through Israeli-Palestinian peace, based on ending the Occupation and establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Some videos and photos from the demonstration:
Al-Jazeera television interviewed Alon-Lee Green, the National Co-Director of Standing Together:
AFP News Agency:
Ha’aretz newspaper in Israel published today, in its weekend supplement, an extensive profile article about the work of Standing Together.
The headline reads: “For years the Left was conceived as Tel-Aviv-centered and disconnected; Throughout the country, an opportunity emerges for a turning point”. The subheader reads: “The movement ‘Standing Together’, which supports partnership and grows from below, is on a roll: 5000 dues paying members, doubling its number of student chapters, and new groups of Jews and Arabs who work to maintain solidarity – and plant hope for shared life in Israel”.
If you read Hebrew, you can find the article photographed here:
Earlier this month, Rula Daood, National Co-Director of Standing Together, and me visited London for five days, where we briefed Members of Parliament (in a roundtable discussion organized by Yachad UK) on the situation on the ground inside Israeli society and the prospects for a cease-fire agreement, met with communal organisations in both the Jewish and Muslim communities, and met with the leaderships of trade unions (GMB and the Fire Brigades Union) as well as the National Union of Students.
What prompted our visit was the launch of a new organisation called “UK Friends of Standing Together”. The launch event in the House of Commons (hosted by Nadia Whittome MP and Alex Sobel MP), as well as the public events organized later that week in the University of Westminster and the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), were attended by dozens. The website of UKFOST is here.
During our stay in London, Rula and I were interviewed by Sky News in their studios, where we responded to the comments of the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, who said in an interview that October 7th showed the paradigm of a Palestinian state alongside Israel “is dead”.
I gave two interviews recently to English-language Left publications:
The Workers’ Liberty website in the UK
The journal Links in Australia
A French translation of the last interview was published on the website ESSF
Let’s hope 2024 will be a year of good news and positive developments.
All the best,