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Why the March of Hope inspired few Israeli politicians

Many Israeli politicians chose to ignore the March of Hope for fear of being branded "leftist," although participants spanned the spectrum.
People take part in a rally, the closing event of the March of Hope, a 2-week-long event organised by Women Wage Peace, a non-political movement calling for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and women's participation in such a solution, outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner - RTX2PJST
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The biggest peace event of the past few years in Israel received a lukewarm reception from the media and evasive responses from the country’s ministers and most of the Knesset members invited to participate. Organized by Women Wage Peace, the March of Peace left Rosh HaNikra, on the border with Lebanon, on Oct. 4, and ended about two weeks later, on Oct. 19, with a rally outside the prime minister’s residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem. At that final event, thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women, all dressed in white, demanded a diplomatic agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

They marched the length of Israel in 15 days, pausing to hold a series of events intended to send the message that peace is not the exclusive purview of the left and that there is a partner on the other side. The women represented the Israeli left, center and right as well as Palestinians. Some were religious, and others were secular. They had been preparing for this event for the past two years, since the founding of their movement right after Operation Protective Edge.

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