Thousands of Israelis are expected to attend a rally against calls for vengeance and escalation Thursday in Tel Aviv.
Under the headline “Demonstrating Sanity – No to Revenge, No to Escalation,” the dovish Peace Now organization is calling for a rally “to say enough” and to demand a new leadership that “offers hope as opposed to escalation.”
Several left-wing Knesset members will address the crowd.
“The events of recent days require us to issue a clear and strong call against violence, against extremism, against the bloodshed,” read an ad for the event posted on Facebook. “We must not let the feeling of frustration, pain and anger over the murders of Eyal, Naftali and Gil-ad drag us into a wave of escalation and extremism.”
MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor), Zehava Gal-on (Meretz) and Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) are scheduled to address the gathering, which is to take place in Tel Aviv’s Habimah Square.
As of Thursday afternoon, some 2,800 Israelis had indicated on the event’s Facebook page that they planned to attend.
On Wednesday evening, hundreds of Israelis gathered in downtown Jerusalem for a similar demonstration. Organized by the Tag Meir Forum, a grassroots group devoted to combating anti-Arab hate crimes, the rally drew a largely young and secular Jewish crowd, including youth movement activists and students under the banner of “We mourn, we don’t take revenge.”
Speakers at Wednesday’s event included opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor), MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), Jerusalem council member Rachel Azaria, and Rabbi Benny Lau of the city’s Ramban Synagogue.
The rally was hastily organized in response to extreme-right demonstrations in downtown Jerusalem during the funerals of Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah Tuesday evening. Demonstrators called out “Death to the Arabs” and “No Arabs, no terror attacks.” Many wore stickers and shirts expressing support for the slain ultra-nationalist rabbi Meir Kahane. Jerusalem police arrested at least 47 ultra-nationalist Jewish demonstrators throughout the city.
Elhanan Miller contributed to this report.