Thursday night saw a very big demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. Following the interim report by the Winograd committee, people went out to the streets and called PM Olmert to resign.
The official banner included a call for Defense Minister Amir Peretz to step down. I am more interested in Olmert’s head, and I felt that the people who were speaking on the stage kept the focus on Olmert. The speakers were a mixture of non-political figures. Some came from the right, and some from the left.
Contrary to demonstrations that I usually attend, there were lots of right wing protesters. I felt that there was an equal mixture of both left and right wing people. I was pleased to hear one of the speakers remind us of the government’s negligence of the civilians in the north. This issue, which remains unresolved, is still an open wound. The media didn’t really handle it in this dramatic week.
Being far the magical figures of 400,000 after the Sabra and Shatila massacre, but still being quite a big mass, I would rank the protest as “medium”. Olmert won’t go tomorrow, but the process has begun.
The Winograd committee hasn’t finished its job. A final report is due in August. It will include the last bloody 2 days, in which 34 Israeli soldiers were sent to reach the Litani river. The ceasefire was already set at that time. No military accomplishments were gained.
Until August, I hope that the protests will continue, and we’ll see Olmert step down before the final report. The media is suggesting that the Labor party, including Peretz, will leave the coalition soon. I think that it will be a smart political move, and it will accelerate the fall of Ehud Olmert.
Except politics, it was fun getting together with friends, friends of friends, and fellow bloggers. Some of them seen for the first time…
More pictures by the Israeli blogosphere (including myself).