Flowers for Peace in Jerusalem

15 June 2016

Following the Jerusalem Day Flag Parade, 100 activists from NIF grantee Tag Meir handed out 1,000 flowers in Jerusalem’s Old City in a demonstration that many Israelis seek a future of peace alongside their Palestinian neighbors.

The Jerusalem Day Flag Parade has long been a cause of tension. Spitting, shoving, vandalism, and racist chants — including “death to Arabs” and “the mosque will burn” — have characterized the event in the last several years.

The Tag Meir activists went to the Old City after the parade wearing stickers that read “Flowers of Peace” in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. The flowers were distributed to Jews, Muslims, and Christians throughout the Old City.

One of the activists, Gil Moshkovits, said: “Rather than be a day of pure joy, Jerusalem Day is used to stick a finger in the eye of anyone who isn’t ‘us.’ Giving out flowers is an act of solidarity with the victims of violence and incitement. It’s an act of showing humanity in a place where humanity is lacking.”

This initiative follows attempts by NIF grantee Ir Amim to prevent the Jerusalem Day Parade from passing through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, as it was due to coincide with the beginning of Ramadan. While the court rejected the petition, it did require the organizers to hold the parade earlier in the day in order to prevent clashes with Ramadan worshipers.