|Twenty Thousand March in Tel-Aviv Against Mccarthyism, Racism and Fascism
Twenty thousands of activists, Jews and Arabs, from left-wing movements, parties and human rights organizations march in Tel Aviv on Saturday (January 15, 2001) in protest of the Knesset's decision to set up a committee of inquiry to probe the funding sources of human rights movements.
The protest march, under the headline "Demonstration (since it's still possible) for democracy", left from Tel Aviv's Meir Park, in front of the Likud headquarters, toward the plaza in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, where a rally take place in which Knesset members from Hadash, Kadima and Meretz as well as officials from Peace Now and human rights groups deliver speeches.
Protesters chanted in support of democracy and free speech and against racism and fascism, and carried hundreds of red flags and signs with slogans such as "Jews and Arabs together against Fascism", "Awaiting Democracy", "Danger - End of Democracy Ahead!", "Fighting the Rightist Government of Darkness" and "Democracy is Screaming for Help". Among the MKs taking part in the event were Dov Khenin (Hadash), Afo Agbarie (Hadash), Meir Sheetrit (Kadima), Hanna Swaid (Hadash), Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and Mohammad Barakeh (the Chairman of Hadash, the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Communist Party of Israel).
MK Horowitz inveighed against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whom he said were "supporting Lieberman's incitement and encouraging racist legislation in the Knesset". "Tonight we are telling the Labor Party that it is a full partner of the most racist government in state history, and that they must leave it immediately," he said.
Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer said at the rally that Israel was suffering not only from the Iranian threat but also from the "Liebermanian threat".
Hadash Chairman Barakeh said, "We are at a dangerous crossroads where democracy is concerned. Democracy is collapsing, not because of Lieberman but because of the support he is receiving from the prime minister. Jews and Arabs who care about democracy cannot fail at this time. Anyone who wishes to know the power of the people can look to Tunisia". In the same vein he added, "The victory of the people in Tunis over cruel dictatorship teaches us that oppression is not the fate of mankind and the people can win."
MK Sheetrit denounced Foreign Minster Avigdor Lieberman's proposal to probe the funding sources of human rights organizations.
"If such legislation is passed, it will be like taking a brick out of the wall of democracy. I am surprised that Likud members support this. It's simply shameful that they can sit in a government that makes such a proposal," he said.
MK Khenin said during the protest that "the thousands of people who are here understand that our democracy needs protection against its destroyers. We are voicing a clear voice in support of human rights and democracy, and against racism, fascism, McCarthyism and future destruction of the democratic values. We will continue to fight for democratic rights, freedom of speech, equal rights for Jews and Arabs and the end of the occupation."
List of participating organizations in the Emergency rally
Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) // Communist Party of Israel // ACRI (Association For Civil Rights in Israel // Meretz // New Israel Fund // Peace Now // The Kibbutz Movement // The Progressive Movement // The Green Movement // Physicians for Human Rights // The Geneva Initiative // Ha'Shomer Ha'tzair // Yisrael Hofshit (Free Israel) // Coalition of Women for Peace // Public Committee Against Torture // Yesh Gvul // Shutafut/Sharakah - Organizations for a Shared, Democratic and Egalitarian Society: Agenda, The Abraham Fund, Negev Institute - NISPED, Sikkuy, Kav Mashve, Keshev, Shatil // Gush Shalom // Yesh Din // Almuntada Altakadumi - The Progressive Circle in Ar'ara // Negev Coexistence Forum // Peace NGO's Forum // Amnesty International Israel // Banki-Shabiba – Young Communist League // Hagada Hasmalit Alternative Cultural Center in Tel-Aviv // Tandi – Democratic Women's Movement // Parents Circle – Families Forum // Social Workers for Peace and Social Welfare // Arab Movement for Renewal // Mossawa Centre – the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel // Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel // Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights // Machsom Watch // Tarabut-Hithabrut // Rabbis for Human Rights // Ir Amim // Maan – Workers' Advice Center // Daam – Workers Party // Syndianna Galilee for Fair Trade // Israeli Children // Campus Le'Kulanu – Left Students Movement, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Haifa University // ASSAF - Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel // ICAHD - The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions // Social TV // Socialist Struggle // Labor Party Young Guard // HAMOKED – Center for the Defense of the Individual // BINA – Center for Jewish Identity, Hebrew Culture and Social Justice // AIC – Alternative Information Center // Our Heritage - The Charter for Democracy //