Sparse Public Support for Pro-Disengagement Campaign

A widely publicized demonstration in support of the Disengagement Plan last week failed to attract more than a few dozen participants. The campaign claimed to represent the majority of Israelis.

Ezra HaLevi, | updated: 10:07

The campaign, dubbed "Leaving Gaza - Returning to Zionism," featured a convoy of vehicles traveling across Israel, stopping in Israeli towns to gather supporters, and was to culminate with a large rally in Jerusalem's Zion Square.

Former Shabak (General Security Sevice) head Ami Ayalon, who organized the campaign under the auspices of his Council for Peace and Security, said it aimed to, "shake up the silent majority that supports the pullout plan, rather than leaving the streets to the disengagement opponents."

In actuality, according to left-leaning Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot, just "tens" of protesters attended the culmination rally in Jerusalem.

Ayalon himself was forced to admit that at its height, the convoy supporting the government's withdrawal/expulsion plan was embarrassingly small. Questioned by Israel Radio, Ayalon admitted that a maximum of 70 cars - "and at times fewer" participated in the heavily publicized campaign. "If you count the people we passed by, there were thousands," he added.

During the entire week of the convoy, state-run radio stations broadcast paid advertisements informing listeners of the convoy's schedule, and invited them to join the campaign. In the hours leading up to the final rally, hourly news broadcasts interviewed Ayalon and mentioned the rally repeatedly.



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