JERUSALEM (May. 18)
A group of settlers protesting any contemplated Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights ended a 20-day hunger strike this week following a meeting with President Ezer Weizman.
The protesters, who had sent up a tent in the Rose Garden opposite the Knesset, met with Weizman at the president’s residence Tuesday for a half-hour and announced the end of the strike upon emerging from the building.
Weizman convinced the strikers that there was no point in continuing with the strike, since their message had already clearly been received.
The protesters are opposed to Israel’s returning the Golan to Syria in exchange for peace as part of the ongoing Middle East peace process.
When one of the strikers announced that the campaign for the Golan would continue, Weizman interrupted him, saying: “We don’t discuss campaigns.
“I merely want to say that I myself have taken the liberty, both as Ezer Weizman and as president, to propose that you terminate the strike,” said the newly inaugurated president.
“Since I believe that your message has been passed and was accepted, I invited you to my home to have coffee and cake,” Weizman said.
Yael Ariel, one of the strikers, said she came out of the presidential residence with a feeling of achievement, as their message had gained attention.