Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stifling the Protest - Label It "Right" ("left" though is permitted)

Haaretz is trying to kill the protests.


Read on:

But the most serious problem the reservists face is the attempt to drag them to the right.

If the right wing is able to use the protest to bring down the government, it will set back settlement evacuation for years.

The reservists understand the danger of a rightist bear-hug and are trying to keep their distance.

...a close look at the small group reveals their leaders are mostly from the right. Among them is a founder of an illegal outpost in the territories and a prominent activist against the unilateral withdrawal plan.

The movement's leftists, who are put on display every time accusations are raised about the group's political inclinations, are fighting to prevent their protest from sliding into "orange" messages.

Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer says the message of the reserve soldiers can only be understood as right-wing. "They want to bring down the government, but refuse to say what their option is. It's a nationalist movement that talks only about winning the next war and not how to prevent it. If they succeed, in the end Lieberman and Netanyahu will come to power," he said.

...Baruch Itam, considered the group's "leftist," disagrees.

"If the story is told as an 'orange' protest that brought down the government, it will be very bad," he says. "The goal is to tell the story as a protest seeking to infuse the leadership with values."

Itam concedes that there is pressure from the right, which he calls dangerous "because of their motivation to bring down the government. I call on the left to join us in larger numbers to balance out the picture," he says.

Meanwhile, tensions are rising among the protesters.

One is suspected of being a Shin Bet plant; two others are believed to be Peace Now activists seeking to sabotage the demonstration. Protesters have also been distancing themselves recently from the Awakening movement, which was formed to protest last year's disenagegment from the Gaza Strip.

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