Thousands of cheering Israelis poured into the main square in Tel Aviv on Saturday (15 April), to demonstrate their support of Prime Minister Menachem Begin's controversial Middle East policy.
GV PAN: Demonstrators in Tel Aviv main square at night.
SV & CU: Demonstrators signing petition.
GV PAN: Crowd.
SV: Chanan Abramson speaking in English to crowd and crowd listening. (4 SHOTS)
GV PAN FROM: Speaker TO crowd cheering and chanting. (2 SHOTS)
ABRAMSON: "We are gathered here together to assume that Israel really wants peace. The people of Israel support Prime Minister Menachem Begin ...and the elected government in its efforts to achieve secure peace in the peace negotiations, which are held right now."
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Background: Thousands of cheering Israelis poured into the main square in Tel Aviv on Saturday (15 April), to demonstrate their support of Prime Minister Menachem Begin's controversial Middle East policy. One of the organisers, artist Chanan Abramson, told the crowd the demonstration had been called to counter a rally two weeks ago, at the same spot, by 300 reservist officers. They had urged Mr. Begin to make further concessions in the stalled peace negotiations with Egypt.
SYNOPSIS: The enthusiastic crowd applauded every reference to Prime Minister Begin, and there were jeers every time the rally opposing the Begin approach to the peace talks was mentioned. Some of the organisers, who declared the demonstration was non-political, said no group must tie the hands of the government in its difficult negotiations with Egypt. Mr. Abramson said they all wanted peace.
One of the organisers of the previous rally told newsmen that while his group was non-political, he believed this demonstration was staged by Mr. Begin's right-wing political party. His opponents claimed however that the first rally had been organised by left-wingers.