At anti-government rally, author David Grossman calls for people to fight for the country

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

Author David Grossman speaks during a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the current government outside the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, June 22, 2024. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Author David Grossman speaks during a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the current government outside the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, June 22, 2024. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

David Grossman, one of Israel’s best-known authors and the 2018 winner of the Israel Prize for Literature, calls on Israelis to fill the streets and fight for their country at the weekly anti-government rally in Tel Aviv.

Grossman, a dovish figure and longtime critic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, issues the call in a poem he reads to thousands attending the rally on Kaplan Street.

“Now’s the time to fight, men, women. Now’s the time to fill the roads and streets. There’s someone and something to fight for. For such a gift, from life itself, we will nevermore receive. No country shall arise again from conflict.

“There’s someone to fight for, it all depends on you. Now’s the time to rise, to live. To be a people or not to be. To be people or not to be. There’s who for, and there’s what for. All hangs by a thread,” Grossman reads.

The rally, where tens of thousands gathered under a full moon to demand an early election, erupts into applause. Hundreds of people blow vuvuzelas that echo far beyond Kaplan Street.

Grossman’s bellicose tone reflects an escalation in rhetoric and actions at the weekly rally and dozens of smaller ones like it following Benny Gantz’s decision to leave Netanyahu’s wartime government and return to the opposition.

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