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As the bombardment of Gaza continues, and the civilian death toll rises above 1,400 – with children comprising one-quarter of the victims – the world has become polarized.This is a vision that younger progressive Israelis, Diaspora Jews and Palestinians have taken up with increasing interest and hope.It is a challenge that the Israeli establishment would prefer to ignore. Following one of the most lethal nights of Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" in Gaza – and what many human-rights defenders have called a massacre – police, citing "security concerns," sought to prevent an estimated 10,000 people from gathering in the streets of Tel Aviv to oppose what organizers described as an illegal occupation and military campaign against the Palestinians. Protesters there reported that Israeli police and soldiers confronted rallies with live bullets; by the end of the day's demonstrations, five Palestinian protesters were dead.An active peace movement, in which Israelis and Palestinians recognize common interests and forge new discussions aimed at ending the decades-long conflict, may not be enough to stem growing extremism, particularly on the Israeli side. According to an opinion poll carried out in July by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, more than 95 percent of Jewish Israelis believe that Operation Protective Edge is warranted, while less than 4 percent believe that Israel has used excessive force.
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