Major Events in Israel and the Middle East
A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
The Largest Demonstration in Recent Memory
Thursday May 3, 2007
Tonight the average Israeli came out in masses at one of the largest demonstrations the country's history. The demonstration took place at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv which was filled from end to end. Over 150,000 people attended despite an intense heat wave and lack of organized transportation. It was an unusual demonstration. It was probably the first demonstration in at least a generation, or maybe ever, where the political right and the political the left all showed up at the square and demanded that the government resign.
Whether the demonstration will have an effect is unknown. Clearly the Labor party members cannot ignore the numbers. Prime Minister Olmert can continue to try, but it is hard to see how he will hold out. Olmert has been saying that Minister of Foreign Relation Livni could not form a coalition with either the ultra-Orthodox party Shas or with Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman's National Union party. Reports indicate that she has diplomatically approached both parties and they both have indicated that while they do not want to lead a revolt against Olmert, both would not have a problem supporting a government with her as the Prime Minister.
In the meantime, the word from Minister of Defense Amir Peretz keeps changing- one hour reports that he is resigning the next he is not.