Peace Now against Gush Etzion celebrations

Leftist movement appeals to opposition members to refrain from attending government event marking 50 years of Gush settlement.

Mordechai Sones,

Peace Now
Peace Now
Flash 90

Leftist movement Peace Now appealed to all opposition Knesset members demanding they not take part in the festive event organized by the government this coming Wednesday in Gush Etzion on the occasion of 50 years of settlement in the bloc.

The movement claims "there is no reason to celebrate, the essence of the event undermines the two-state vision, and there is no justification for taking part in it; we call on all peace-seeking public figures who support the two-state solution to refrain from honoring this inappropriate celebration."

In recent days, Peace Now has been running a social media campaign against the event under the headline "There is no reason to celebrate."

The movement noted that participation of opposition MKs in the event, if any, would be absurd. "Anyone who deems to replace Netanyahu and switch the national priorities, and pretends to belong to the two-state camp can not come and embrace those who ruin his camp and his vision."

"A state event outside the sovereign borders of the State of Israel is yet another step in the creeping annexation policy of the Netanyahu government ... The Government of Israel has chosen to act contrary to the laws of the State, contrary to international law, and to practice the annexation of occupied territory. Participation in the celebration of oppression is contrary to the way and values of the peace camp, who did not lose hope of solving the conflict with our Palestinian neighbors. Don't declare the impure to be pure; do not take part in celebrations of the occupation and the settlements," Peace Now wrote to opposition members.

Gush Etzion was settled by Jews before Israel's War of Independence, but was not given to Israel in the UN partition plan. Its Jewish residents decided to stay anyway, but were attacked and overwhelmed. Its last defenders fell the Jordanian Legion and were massacred in 1948, just two days before the Jewish state was declared.. The thriving area is considered vital for defending the road from Hevron to Jerusalem.and is one of the "settlement blocs" - meaning it is not up for negotiation and is considered an area of national consensus among most Israelis..