At a march organized by a number of Israeli center-left groups, around 5,000 protesters marched through the streets of downtown Tel Aviv Saturday night calling for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.Participants in the march and rally included non-governmental organizations Peace Now and Gush Shalom, and political parties Meretz, Labor and the Derech faction of the Kadima party.

A support statement for the protest posted on the Peace Now website states, “This is the time for an Israeli peace initiative that responds positively to  President Obama’s proposals and  the need to recognize the right to independence of the Palestinians.”

At the rally following the march, Israeli playwright Yehoshua Sobol criticized the recent statements of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, saying, ‘When Netanyahu said no to the 1967 borders, he said no to peace.’

The statement, and chants and signs calling for a Palestinian state, were critical of Netanyahu’s speech in the US in which he said that there would be no Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, and calling for Israeli settlement colonies constructed on Palestinian land to remain in place.

Knesset (Parliament) member Dov Khenin of the Hadash party said that Netanyahu’s talk set the stage for the next war, adding that the Prime Minister, through his stubborn refusal to deal with the issue of Palestinian rights, had “closed the chapter of our history called the peace process.”

One protester was arrested during the march for allegedly throwing food at police.