Sunday, July 25, 2004

Human Chain

From The Agonist:

Protesters forming 'human chain' to protest pullout
Nadav Shragai | July 25

Haaretz - Protesters on Sunday evening began forming a 90-kilometer-long "human chain" between the Gush Katif settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip and the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, to protest against the disengagement plan.

According to the police, some 70,000 people were taking part in the event, spreading out from the Nissanit settlement in Gaza to Jerusalem.

[. . .]

The protesters were set to link hands at 5 P.M. and at 7 P.M., when the chain is completer, will sing the "Hatikvah" national anthem.

"We came here to protest the program of expelling Jews from their land," said Avraham Yitzhaki, 54, from the Gaza settlement of Ganei Tal.

[. . .]

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin is among the some 30 Knesset members expected to take part in the chain, including some 15 from the Likud, as well as others from the National Religious Party, the National Union, Shas, and United Torah Judaism. Rivlin will form part of the last section of the chain in Jerusalem.

Delegates from the settlers' Yesha Council will demonstrate at Jerusalem's Safra Square. Also expected to take part are new immigrants from the United States who arrived in Israel just a week ago, former Prisoners of Zion from the former Soviet Union, disabled Israel Defense Forces veterans, and Israelis whose relatives are buried in Gush Katif.

[. . .]

You know, I fully believe in Israel's right to exist, but I got a problem with the settlements, always have, always will. Most of these folks are as zealous as converts, and most believe in Israel's right to the West Bank and Gaza as well. They're just as bad as the Palestinians who want to destroy Israel.

While both sides, and the British, are to blame for the current situation, both states (Israel and Palestine) have to accept they will be joined at the hip for the foreseeable future. They have to coexist, and for one to control the Holy Land would mean the death of the other.

Their destinies are inextricably intertwined and have to go forward together, the Israelis behind the Green Line and the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. For any sort of peace to last, the settlements have to go.

Update 13:15:

From the Jerusalem Post:

Conflicting police reports Sunday evening said that between 70,000 to 130,00 demonstrators held hands from the edge of Gush Katif to Jerusalem on in protest Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan.

Settler organizers said 200,000 protestors joined the human chain. . .

[. . .]

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