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Uri Avnery's Speech

At the Mass Anti-War Rally in Tel-Aviv
August 5, 2006

The black flag
Of illegality
Flies over this war.

The black flag
Of mourning
Hovers over all of us.

It is being said
That we are a marginal group.

That we are outsiders.

That the huge majority
Opposes all that we are doing.

And I say: Indeed.

We are outsiders. We are the few
Facing the masses that thirst for war.

But next month
Or next year
Every one of us will proudly proclaim:

I was here!

I called for a stop
To this accursed war!

And thousands who are cursing us now -
Next month, next year,
Will claim that they, too, were here,
That they, too, opposed
This mad war.

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to Ehud Olmert:

Stop this madness!

The war has gone to your head!

You are intoxicated by it!

You are a junky of war!

A war from which
Nothing good will come.

Stop, before it is too late!

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to Amir Peretz:

Many of those here
Have voted for you.

You have lied to them!

You have cheated them!

You pretended to be a social reformer,
You promised to take money from the army
And invest it in education and welfare.

Now you have become
A man of death and destruction,
You have become a monster!

Stop, before it is too late!

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to Hassan Nasrallah:

You have carried out a dangerous provocation,
You have provided the warmongers with a pretext,
You have played their game.

Let us stop this right now!

Let us begin to negotiate -
Israel, Lebanon and Syria -
To exchange the prisoners,
To put an end to bombs and rockets.

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to
Our Palestinian partners:

We have not forgotten you!!!

We know about the atrocities
That happen every day in Gaza
And the other occupied territories.

We must cooperate
In order to put an end to this war,
To exchange the prisoners,
To make peace between our two peoples.

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to the Lebanese people:

As an Israeli,
I feel deep shame
For what we are doing to you!

For the devastation we have brought on you.

Deep shame!

When this madness
Is finally over,
We shall struggle together -
Israelis and Palestinians,
Syrians and Lebanese,
Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel -
So that we can live a normal life,
Each in his free state,
Side by side
In PEACE!