Peace Now and Meretz, the largest Jewish progressive opposition party in the Knesset, have finally ended their shameful silence in the face of the war and joined in demonstrations against the Lebanon war today. Prior to this, they’d temporized by saying that they could not publicly oppose the war or vote against it in Knesset because the invasion was a justified response to Hezbollah provocation.
The excuse for their turn of heart is the government’s decision to expand the war and occupy territory up to the Litani River:
Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin, whose party had hitherto supported the war, said that Wednesday’s cabinet decision to expand the ground operation “was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Why it was OK to bomb civilians in Beirut and decimate the entire country from the air, but it is not OK to send Israeli boys to the Litani is a little difficult for me to fathom. But better late than never is what I say.
One has to wonder why the Israeli communist party could draw 2,500 to its last anti-war rally while both Peace Now and Meretz could only manage 600 at their rally. I’d say their heart’s still not in it (yet). The next demonstration will be at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem. I hope to God it will be larger.