"The Other Voice" is a movement which is active several years already at Sderot and other communities on the Gaza border. With boundless devotion, these activists are trying to make a voice of peace and coexistence heard in a region enveloped by a constant tension, and maintain e-mail contact and dialogue with residents across the border. (A few months they succeeded, with a tremendous effort, to obtain permits for a few Gazans to cross the border, attend a conference and bring a message of peace to their Israeli neighbors from the city of Gaza and the Strip surrounding it.)
Under the sound of sirens and falling missiles, "Other Voice" activists scheduled a demonstration for yesterday noon at the Yad Mordechai Junction. The announcement stated:
Again we are in the same nightmare: Our army reacts to their rockets' reaction to our army's reaction to their rockets – and who pays the price? We, the civilians on both sides of the border.
On Friday, March 25, 2011, at 14:30, we will hold a protest vigil at the Yad Mordechai Junction, with the message:
Stop the shooting! Start Talking! Life or Them = Life for Us.
We, residents of the area, see a close connection between the suffering of our neighbors, due to the ongoing siege and military attacks, and our own suffering. We urge the Government of Israel to halt the deterioration towards another pointless cycle of violence, to end the mutual bloodshed and offer to inhabitants of the region another option: Dialogue, negotiations, and a striving for a long-term agreement, which would make possible a life of quiet and dignity to us and to our neighbors.
The aggressive option has brought us to a dead end! It's time for a political initiative!
The Other Voice Group from Sderot and the Gaza border.
The demonstration did not take place at the appointed time. The police informed the organizers that due to the security situation and the dire warnings, it was unable to secure the event. It is too dangerous here to demonstrate for peace at this time, we will not allow it - warned the police commanders.
But in the longer term, is it not even more dangerous to stifle that voice?