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Hundreds attend Jewish-Arab Solidarity rallies across Israel

A report from 6 November from Standing Together’s National Field Organiser Uri Weltmann.

Dear friends,

The terrible news from Gaza keeps arriving every day. The rising number of civilian casualties, stories about human suffering, the indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian neighbourhoods – all of this quenches the heart and makes the necessity of ending this bloodshed ever more dire.

Here, in Tel-Aviv, we’ve gotten accustomed to having a siren every day or two, running for shelter as Hamas rockets target the city. I do so with my two small daughters, and it is always a terrible experience for them, and therefore for me also. I do my best to shield them from the reality of the war, to maintain normality, but this broke down the other day. I’ve taken them to the public library to return their books, and in the square outside there was a vigil by the families of those Israelis kidnapped to Gaza on October 7th, calling on the government to negotiate for their return.

As we passed through the vigil on our way to the library, my younger daughter – age 7 – was very curious about the pictures of the children held by some of the protesters, asking me who they were. I found myself struggling for words, as I don’t want to be untruthful when explaining the world to my daughters, yet the dreadful reality of small children – some of them infants and even babies, taken from their parents, perhaps no longer alive, and held captive while our government is indifferent to their fate – is so appalling and so unexplainable.

Days pass by, and our politicians compete with each other in making ever more crazy, genocidal statements. Our Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu: “Nuking Gaza is an option”. Former Minister of Public Diplomacy Galit Distel Atbaryal: “Gaza needs to be wiped out”. Even the main opposition party tip-toes, with Member of Knesset (Parliament) Meirav Ben Ari saying in plenum: “The children in Gaza brought this upon themselves”. This shows how toxic public discourse currently is in Israel, with mainstream news channels airing not only politicians but also commentators and journalists who openly peddle sadistic attitudes towards Palestinians in general and Gazans in particular.

Within this context, we organize and fight.

In the last few days, Standing Together has organized several MASS RALLIES in various cities under the banner of JEWISH-ARAB SOLIDARITY. Hundreds attended each of these events, despite attempts by extreme right-wing activists to pressure the venues we rented to retract their agreement to host us. Those who gathered heard speeches by Jewish and Arab leaders of Standing Together in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace, ending the Occupation, stopping the racist witch-hunt against Palestinian citizens of Israel who speak out against the injustices of war.

We centered our message around the issue of full equality, civic and national, for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as opposition to the terrible human cost that the war on Gaza has taken on the lives of innocent civilians. We do so not standing outside of our society, but from within, with deep sympathy for our friends, relatives, co-workers and partners, who have lost loved ones on October 7th, in the unjustifiable and indefendible terrorist attack by Hamas on civilians in their homes.


300 people attended our Solidarity Rally in Tel-Aviv, on November 1st:


Close to 700 people attended our Solidarity Rally in Haifa, on Saturday night, November 4th. Extreme right-wing activists pressured an event hall to prevent us from holding our rally there, so we went to the mosque in the Kababir neighbourhood in Haifa. Personally for me, it was the first time to organize a political event inside a mosque…

Yet hundreds came! both Jewish and Arab-Palestinian residents of Haifa. After the 300 seats in the hall were filled, more than 200 sat on the floor and stood in the aisles, until eventually there was no longer any room in the main hall, so more than 120 people packed the nearby room, where the speeches were screened via video.

This was one of the single biggest meetings I helped to organize. International media found interest in this, as the sight of Jews in Israel packing a mosque, amid a war, to hear speeches for peace – was indeed an interesting sight.

This particular video from the meeting now has almost 4 million views!

More photos and videos from Haifa here:

Abu Gosh

Around 150 people, Jewish and Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel packed on Friday the community center in the Arab village of Abu Gosh, on the road to Jerusalem, from the village itself as well as from the nearby Jewish towns:

Baqa Al-Gharbyyiah

TODAY! 350 people attended our Solidarity Rally in Baqa Al-Gharbyyiah, an Arab town inside israel: 

In the Media

Our National Co-Director, Alon-Lee Green, was interviewed by the prominent British podcaster and journalist Owen Jones:

Listen to Rula Daood, National Co-Director of Standing Together, speaking about the current situation: 

Sally Abed, member of the national leadership of Standing Together, interviewed on Australian public broadcaster ABC. Sally also appeared in UK television channel TalkTV:

And again here:

The Point Magazine transcribed some of the things Sally and I said in a webinar about the war on Gaza, and posted them online here:

If you are interested in a longer piece, Sally spoke on the podcast by the US magazine Jewish Currents. I highly recommend.

What’s Next?

On Friday we will have another Jewish-Arab Solidarity event in Lydd, and on Monday – in Jerusalem. Also planned is an event in Nazareth. We will continue to organize these rallies, to bring people together around a shared vision of peace and equality.

I thank you for taking the time to read my reports. While our target audience is first of all the society in which we live, as we try to influence our Jewish and Palestinian neighbours, friends, co-workers and colleagues, we are also interested in engaging with our co-thinkers abroad, with the social movements, the progressive community, and the Left. Please feel free to share these words with whoever you think might find interest in them.