The Israel public has been bombarded with hawkish statements regarding the situation with Iran and the drum roll of war is echoing in the ears of every Israeli citizen, according to local peace and disarmament campaigners.

The Israeli government has made it clear that war with Iran is at the doorstep, according to an International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ report.

“The image the government was portraying is of two options: either bomb Iran or accept Iran with the bomb. Those statements were supposed to create a favorable public opinion for a military strike.”

The Helsinki Talks

The Israeli disarmament movement and ICAN believe that there are alternative ways to defuse the Israeli-Iranian crisis, such as the planned Helsinki talks [1].

“This alternative will not only stop Iran from getting the bomb, it will also present the entire Middle East with a way to get rid of all weapons of mass destruction in the region. Although the initiative for nuclear-free zone in the Middle East is not new, it is largely unknown in Israel, even to the media.”

In order to put a stick in the wheels of the war propaganda machine, Israeli campaigners decided to demonstrate against the war in front of the ministry of defense and the military headquarters in the heart of Tel Aviv on 23 August, adds the report.

Against War

They invited anyone they could, including members of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), and distributed press releases to every media outlet they knew. Three hundred people stood there and raised their voices against war with Iran, according to the report.

“Some of the Knesset members and other political players arranged their own demonstrations: one was held in Hafia by the socialist political party and daily demonstrations were held by Meretz party next to the defence minister’s house.”

A few days passed and the different sides arranging the demonstration decided that splitting their power on political party or movement bases hurts their efforts, so they decided to build a coalition of organizations against the war, the report adds.

Nuclear Free Middle East

“Teaming with the other organizations had three helpful effects for the campaign, according to organizers: they were bigger, they got their message out by others, and they got Knesset members standing as part of a large crowd chanting “nuclear-free Middle East” and “yes for talks, no for bombs”.

The demonstrations are still taking place on a daily basis and gaining a lot of new supporters and a lot of attention from the media to the movement, the cause and the Helsinki talks [1].

[1] Middle East Nuclear Free Bid Moves to Finland – Yet Another Lost Chance?

*The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) aims to galvanize public and government support for multilateral negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention without further delay. Such a treaty would outlaw the production, testing, possession and use of nuclear weapons, and establish the mechanisms needed to eliminate them within an agreed timeframe.

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