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‘Dispel the darkness:’ Thousands of Jews and Arabs rally for coexistence

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Thousands of people demonstrated in central Tel Aviv on Saturday night, calling for Jewish and Arab coexistence and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The rally followed the 11-day conflict between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip, which sparked violent riots in Jewish-Arab cities within Israel, including communities long seen as models of coexistence. At least two Israelis were killed in the riots and several others were seriously injured by the mob violence.

Chanting “This is all of our homes,” “We stand together without hatred and without fear,” and “The answer to the Right is Israel and Palestine,” the demonstrators marched from Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square to the Habima Theater Square. There, the crowd heard speeches from two of the organizers of the demonstration, Itamar Avnery and Sally Abed, as well as author David Grossman and Joint List leader Ayman Odeh.

Grossman lamented the recent war’s toll on children, Israeli and Palestinian.

“Allow me to dedicate my words this evening to the children of the Gaza border [communities in Israel] and to the children of Gaza,” he said.

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“We are the hostages of the various extremists. We sit with mouths agape and watch how human beings become targets, how mothers lie on top of their children on the street to protect them, how multistory buildings fall like a house of cards and whole families disappear in the blink of an eye,” said Grossman, whose son was killed in Second Lebanon War in 2006 during his military service. Sally Abed and Itamar Avnery spoke at a Jewish-Arab coexistence rally in Tel Aviv on May 22, 2021

Referring to the recent violence, Avnery, a Jewish Israeli, told the crowd to channel their feelings into activism.

“If the last two weeks were hard for you, if you felt despair, we are here to say, don’t despair, organize,” he said.

Sally Abed, who........

© The Times of Israel

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