The latest, and biggest, demonstrations occurred in early May, involving Palestinian and Jewish speakers and thousands marching in Tel-Aviv under the banner: “Stop the War, Bring Back the Hostages”.

By Uri Weltmann and Federico Fuentes, Green Left

Though largely ignored by the Western media, there is a burgeoning movement for ceasefire inside Israel — and it is shifting public opinion.

An Israel Democracy Institute poll conducted in the first week of May found that 62% of Israelis believe the government’s top priority should be a ceasefire deal. This compared with less than 40% in mid-January who favoured a ceasefire in return for the release of the hostages held by Hamas.

israelis on left protesting war in gaza

Federico Fuentes spoke with Standing Together’s national field organiser Uri Weltmann to find out more about this fledgling peace movement.

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How has the peace movement developed since October 7? Is it shifting public opinion and undermining Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s support? What role is Standing Together playing within the movement?

After October 7, Israeli police limited people’s right to protest. That is why, throughout October and November, most of the actions taken by the peace movement were not necessarily marches, pickets and rallies.

Instead, we hung posters in the streets saying “Only Peace Will Bring Security” and organised emergency Jewish-Arab conferences in two dozen towns and cities across Israel.

Only in December did openings arise to organise larger protests. Standing Together brought hundreds to a rally in Haifa on December 16, and a thousand people to a rally in Tel Aviv on December 28.

In January, we had our first march against the war, with more than 30 peace movements and organisations mobilising thousands.

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