By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
One recent demonstration illustrates the new ingredients of the movement. On a warm July evening when Netanyahu became the first Israeli prime minister to address a fund-raiser for the hardcore of the settlers' movement in the heart of Jerusalem, a Peace Now candlelight procession and demonstration of over 1,000 people protested the event. The rally was organized by college-age youth, and 70 percent of those in attendance were of high school, army and college age. (Israelis attend college after serving in the army.) As is standard at Peace Now demonstrations, many demonstrators carried Israeli flags as a sign of patriotism. (Peace Now sings "Hatikva," the Israeli national anthem, at the end of every action.)
As has not been standard, many demonstrators were adorned in spiked hair, dreadlocks, face paint and nose rings. Students danced and yelled through megaphones, even while such longtime movement figures as Yossi Beilin (one of Oslo's architects) spoke to the crowd. One group of Hebrew University students, who called themselves "Noise," wanted to storm the settlers' event where Netanyahu was speaking. When the police politely said they didn't want to make any arrests, they asked the 20-something director of Peace Now, Chen Raz, to talk the group out of it, which he eventually did.
Peace Now founded a distinct youth group in 1990, and the 1995 rally where Yitzhak Rabin was murdered was largely organized by the youth. But it is only in the years since Rabin's murder that the younger generation have risen to positions of movement leadership. "The campuses were apathetic in the early 1990s, but right after Rabin's assassination, the whole movement transformed," says Galia Golan, a Peace Now veteran who's a political scientist at Hebrew University. "The heart of the movement today is the 25- to 35-year-olds. These are the people who have to fight - and three years ago thought they weren't going to have to fight. They aren't ideological, not even terribly interested in dialogue. They are very angry, very militant."
Jo-Ann Mort is a national board member of American Friends of Peace Now.
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