Israel: Peace demonstrators look for answers

The speakers at Monday’s demonstration , held in Tel Aviv, in support of withdrawal from Gaza were not radical ones – actually they gave unconditional support to Sharon’s disengagement plan.

But the real news from this demo was the young age of most of the participants. Most of the 10,000 demonstrators were under the age of 20. They came to support the withdrawal from the Gaza strip and to protest against the occupation, but they were looking for more answers, which the leaders of the peace movement cannot provide.

Unfortunately the leadership of the peace movement put forward ideas which were even more irrelevant than ever since they back Sharon and are too confused to offer an alternative or wider perspective. The Labour leader Peres even said that people must support the disengagement plan because that is the key for a new area of peace for Israel.

Getting no answers from the peace movement leadership, Israeli youth are looking for new ideas and solutions. The headline of our leaflet was: "support withdrawal [from the occupied territories], continue the struggle against the occupation, oppression and exploitation". But still, even in a peace demo the headline on the front page of our paper "The gangsters cut, we fight" was very attractive, and no less than 300 copies of the paper were sold.

The ground seems to be ready for socialist ideas, since most of the Israeli working class and youth support the withdrawal from Gaza and looking for a solution to the bloody situation. Our task as Israeli socialists is to show the inability of capitalism to achieve peace, stability and appropriate standards of living for the people of Israel and Palestine. As we explained in the demo Israeli and Palestinian workers’ parties are necessary for building an alternative of stable peace based of the real needs of the people.

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October 2004