Past Activities 

Arafat is the Partner

At noon today Gush Shalom activists gathered at the monument behind the Tel-Aviv town hall, the place where Prime Minister Rabin was shot to death seven years ago,

one of the few places in Israel where the photo of Rabin's handshake with Arafat is still on public display.

(Elsewhere in the country, copies of that photo had been quietly but thoroughly removed from official plaques.) As Uri Avnery commented:

"It was here that Yitzchak Rabin was murdered, because of his role as a peacemaker.

Nowadays, Rabin is murdered again and again: his lifework is being systematically destroyed."

Spreading out from the monument to the nearby traffic light we stood in line, holding out the signs:

"Arafat is the partner";

"An end to the occupation = an end to suicide bombings";

"Yes to the Saudi peace plan";

"Thirty-five years of occupation - enough!";

"5/6/1967 - 5/6/2002 - the victory which turned to disaster".

The first half hour passed quietly, except for some fierce debates and... a barrage of eggs thrown from the roof of the opposite building. (All but one of them missed their mark and smashed on the sidewalk in front of us, and the invisible assailant disappeared long before the police showed up on the scene.) At 2.30, as planned, artist Yuval Kaspi unrolled a large sheet which was attached to a nearby wall, and made a life-size drawing of Rabin and Arafat shaking hands, while the demonstrators' picket line divided in two, to allow passers-by and motorists on the busy Ibn Gvirol Street a chance to see the artistic proceedings.

It took another half hour to complete, with the colours of the Israeli and Palestinian flags drawn in around the two leaders. [Yuval Kaspi is one of the main organizers of "Imagine", an ehibition of 300 Jewish and Arab Artists for Coeixistence which is due to open - simultaneoulsy in Tel-Aviv and Umm-El-Fahm - on June 15.