Friday, September 01, 2006

Bring them home

A rally took place in Tel-Aviv calling for the Government to do all it can to bring the boys back home:

More than 60,000 people thronged to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Thursday night to call for the release of abducted IDF soldiers Gilad Shalit, Udi Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

"Nobody connects the abducted soldiers and the war declared in their name anymore," said Shai Shenkman, a comrade of Regev's. "In the war trauma the kidnapping slipped from consciousness, like Ron Arad. That precedent scares us." Arad is an Israel Air Force navigator who has been missing since 1986, when he bailed out over Lebanon.

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, the chief rabbi of Tel Aviv and a former chief rabbi of Israel, stood side by side with MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) in a rare show of unity. Religious protesters stood with secular ones, and settlers stood with kibbutzniks. Demonstrators calling for a state inquiry commission joined those who object to it, as all called for the soldiers' release.

It was not a protest rally; it was a reminder to the government not to forget those it used as the main cause for the war. Ostensibly it was a rally of solidarity with the POWs and their families. But in its subtext, it castigated the government for reneging on yet another contract with the public.

The rally evoked a public response that the protest against the war failed to do. The public did not come to protest but to express a yearning for the country they wanted Israel to be. The older participants said they missed the past, the youngsters spoke of fear for the future.

"Something in the ethos has been eroded," said Uzi Dayan, head of an
organization acting to release POWs and one of the rally's organizers.

[Read More Here]


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