Protestors: Olmert, Peretz Dodging Inquiry

Neta Sela

Protestors: Olmert, Peretz Dodging Inquiry

More than 2,000 protestors gather Thursday evening opposite PM’s residence in Jerusalem demanding a state commission of inquiry. ‘Olmert go home,’ they chant



Under the banner ‘The people want a state inquiry,’ more than 2,000 protestors assembled Thursday evening outside Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Jerusalem home, demanding that he form a state commission of inquiry into the war in Lebanon.

Protestors lit dozens of torches and called “Olmert go home.” Protestors carried signs bearing the portraits of IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz and Defense Minister Amir Peretz and PM Olmert himself – all labeled “inquiry dodgers”.

Several hours before the demonstration its organizers announced two newcomers to the event – the Bnei Akiva and Hashomer Hatzair youth movements. The Almagor organization for terror victims placed pictures of people killed in terror attacks since 2000 in the square, but did not include those killed in the war. The organization demands that terrorists not be released in a possible exchange for the three kidnapped soldiers.

Yossi Sarid, speaking before the demonstrators, referred to the previous rally held by the protest groups in Tel Aviv: “On my way here I thought about what has happened since the demonstration in Rabin Square – and the conclusions I reached are that Ehud Olmert, who enjoys a seven percent approval rating, is still Prime Minister, Amir Peretz, who has a five percent approval rating, is still Minister of Defense and Dan Halutz is still Chief of Staff. These are facts.”

Boos came from the crowd as Sarid said the names of the three men.

Sarid, former chairman of the dovish Meretz party, continued: “All those who were, who still are and who hope to continue to be – theirs is a futile hope,” he said. “You (Olmert, Peretz and Halutz) may have won the battle over the state commission of inquiry but you did not win the war. You will lose this war and you will lose it soon. Every decent citizen will not allow this wretched and miserable war to remain orphaned. Its biological fathers are known to the public and the public demands answers from you.”

‘Those Being Investigated Appoint Investigators’

Of the government inquiry committee Sarid said that “Many people refused to take part in it and others were disqualified from taking part. This committee doesn’t have the authority, the qualifications or the credibility required and I have serious doubts about its intent and willingness to truly investigate this,” he added.

“There is no point in a committee appointed (by the government)” said Sarid to the cheering audience. “The victims of the war from the frontlines and home-front cry – responsibility! Who the hell is taking responsibility here?”

Professor Zeev Sternhall, of the Hebrew University Political Science department, was one of the keynote speakers at the rally.

Speaking to Ynet, Sternhall explained his motives for going onstage: “It seemed obvious to me, I think that this war, the decision made regarding it, its objectives, the manner in which it was run, its consequences… there needs to be a state commission of inquiry into these matters, one that was not appointed by the government.”

“It’s unthinkable that those being investigated appoint the investigators,” said Sternhall, emphasizing that “this is not to smear the existing committee.”

Sternhall says that at least two of its members have been close acquaintances of his for many years.

“It is possible to have a defective institution whose members are first-rate. But the institution itself, an inquiry committee appointed by the government to investigate itself, that is unacceptable,” he said.

“There will be people from all walks of life this evening, but what they have in common is this issue, which I believe to be of great moral importance and vital to our manner of governing and social norms,” Sternhall added.

Kites for Soldiers, Protests for Olmert

Miri Chason; Aviram Zino

Kites for Soldiers, Protests for Olmert

Kites flown for kidnapped soldiers while terror victims’ families protest at PM’s house against release of prisoners



While thousands of families were flying kites in the Israeli sky Wednesday to express their hopes for the return of the three kidnapped IDF soldiers, families of terror victims protested in front of the home of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert against the release of prisoners in return for Corporal Gilad Shalit’s freedom.

Thousands flocked to a kite flying festival organized by the Maccabi Tzair youth movement near the Golani junction in northern Israel
as a show of solidarity for the three kidnapped soldiers Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser, and Gilad Shalit.

Shlomo and Miki Goldwasser, parents of Eldad, participated in the event and said that “thousands of children arrived. It is unbelievable and very heartwarming. We got so many calls from people of all ages to come and join them and we did so gladly.” Shlomo Goldwasser added that despite the fact the issue of the kidnapped soldiers went down from the public’s agenda, those who are tasked with releasing the soldiers are working day and night to find a solution.

‘Releasing Prisoners Will Result in More Kidnappings’

But not everyone was flying a kite this day. A group of families of victims of terrorist activities protested at the exact same time in front of the home of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with heavy hearts.

The demonstrators, all belonging to the Almagor Terror Victims’ Organization were protesting against the government’s intentions to release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the freedom of Gilad Shalit who is being held by a Palestinian terror organization in Gaza. The protesters claim that releasing prisoners will only result in more kidnappings and terror attacks.

Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Guttel and his wife Cecile told Ynet that their 15-year-old daughter Tamar was murdered in an attack in Jerusalem. After the terrorist was captured, he was released from jail in the framework of the Jibril prisoner exchange deal, and returned to kill two more tourists in the Old City of Jerusalem and now sells merchandise as a vendor near the Nablus Gate.

Almagor protestors Photo: Gil Yohanan

Terror Victims Demand a Protest Sukkah

Terror Victims Demand a Protest Sukkah

Israel National News


The Almagor terror victims association has turned to the Supreme Court against Jerusalem City Hall, seeking a permit to establish a protest sukkah opposite the Prime Minister’s Office.

The organization explains the move is in protest of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s refusal to meet with victims’ representatives.

City Hall has offered the protestors to set up in the Knesset Rose Garden alongside IDF reservists protesting Olmert’s handling of the war in Lebanon, but they wish to establish their own protest tent outside the Prime Minister’s Office.