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MK Eldad Calls for "Civil Disobedience"

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) told tens of thousands supporters of Jewish Gaza to prepare for mass "civil disobedience" to block the proposed evacuation of Jews from 21 communities.
First Publish: 4/28/2005, 8:46 PM / Last Update: 4/28/2005, 11:50 AM

Knesset Member Eldad spoke to the crowds Wednesday after completing a 13-day march of 220 kilometers (137 miles) from northern Samaria to Gaza. "An historic injustice is on our shoulders. We are fighting for our homes," Eldad told the huge afternoon rally in N'vei Dekalim. "If [security forces] close Gush Katif, no one will travel in Israel. We will stop the country. No one will fly, no one will travel and no one will walk if Jews are not allowed to live in every place in the Land of Israel."

Eldad called on government employees not to be "cogs in a machine of destruction" and told the crowd to be prepared to be arrested and go to jail for breaking the new government law that prohibits crowds from gathering in Gaza during the planned evacuation.

Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Likud) reacted to MK Eldad's call for "civil disobedience" Thursday morning by charging that "Eldad and his friends are trading in the pain of the population to be uprooted, and they are doing so for political benefit. They are not the ones who will have to carry the pain of evacuation on their backs."

Furthermore, Minister Olmert declared that people like Eldad make the statements they do in order to topple the regime, a phenomenon, Olmert said, that must not be tolerated. If legal steps are to be taken against Eldad, Olmert added, the Attorney General can be trusted to take them. "And if not, then we need to see to it that those people are denounced."

MK Matan Vilnai (Labor) called on the Knesset to remove parliamentary immunity from MK Eldad, who also serves as chairman of the Knesset Ethics Committee, so that he could be charged and tried for incitement. Likud MK Ehud Yatom called on Eldad to retract his statements and added that citizens must obey the law, even if it is mistaken.