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Multiethnic Israeli Youth Movement Succeeds in Halting the Netanyahu Annexation Plan

It all started after Netanyahu and Trump announced their illegal Annexation Plan. We initiated “Teen against the Annexation”, a petition which collected more than 400 signatures of young activists from all over Israel. The statement was widely shared on social media, discussed by youth online and reported in the Israeli press. We swarmed social media with stories about the occupation to educate Israeli teens about the atrocities their government send soldiers to commit and to mobilize them against the annexation and in resistance to militarism.

On the 6th of June, to commemorate the 53rd year of the occupation, we joined others in Mesarvot netowork (which supports those who refuse to be soldiers of the occupation) and participated in a joint Jewish-Arab mass demonstration in Tel Aviv. More than 10,000 people joined, holding “Palestinians Lives Matter” signs and calling for  just peace. It was the biggest demonstration against the Israeli occupation in the last decade (!), and we are proud that Mesarvot members took an active role in organizing it and in promoting it to teens and youth.

In the following weeks we organized a direct protest in front of the house of Benny Gantz,  Minister of Defense and Netanyahu’s vital coalition partner. Under the radar, Gantz ordered a special enlistment of reserve army troops, as Israel was preparing for resistance in the annexed territories. The ongoing pressure led Netanyahu to back down from his promise for the settlers and revoke his policy of an immediate annexation in July. Washington and Dubai are stealing the credit of the achievement of left wing activists, as the Israeli halted all preparations for the annexation of Palestine!

Now, we directed our efforts toward the ongoing mass demonstrations in Jerusalem. For the past month, a permanent protest zone occupies the area around Prime Minister Netanyahu’s official residence. Thousands of Israelis are coming weekly to protest the political corruption, police violence and destruction of democratic norms by the government.We chose to join these protests as part of a progressive block with a unique message: End the occupation and liberate the Palestinians people. We hold banners calling for democracy for all and murals of Iyad al Hallak who was murdered by Israeli police. We face police violence and many of us were unlawfully arrested in every demonstration, while others were assaulted by organized groups of pro-government hooligans. Our message is that true freedom cannot coexist with military oppression, and that each one of us has a personal obligation to depart from evil and do good.

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In solidarity,
Eden Lumerman

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