About a hundred people protested in front of the Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv on Monday night, to mark the 16th anniversary of the start of the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline that has been banned in China, whose practitioners are arrested and tortured.
The Tel Aviv rally was held in parallel to similar events in dozens of countries around the world where there were rallies, demonstrations and marches to call for an end to the persecution in China since 1999.
Chilling testimonies were read out at the rally, telling of organ harvesting and sending warm bodies to the crematorium, sometimes when the person is still alive.
"In fact, a Holocaust is happening in China, and people have been aware of this, it occurs for many, many years, and nothing moves," Billie Beserglick, a journalist, stated at the event. "Whoever remains silent is also a partner in it. I cannot understand how people who do this work are continuing … I mean, did you forget what you did yesterday basement, forgotten whom you beat yesterday, whom you killed yesterday? How could it be anything like that?"
Chairman of the Falun Dafa Association (Falun Gong) in Israel, Vadim Berstazki, told how before the start of the persecution, you could still hear the music associated with the movement in China's parks; the movement's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance gave hope to the Chinese, he said.
The Chairman of the Communist Party at that time, Jiang Zi-Min, feared that popularity. "He began an unprecedented persecution of the Falun Gong," Berstazky said. "He enlisted the power of China [to help, including] the police, the army, the system of propaganda, and gave orders to eliminate them physically, to destroy the reputation of Falun Gong practitioners and impoverish them economically, and allocated three months for the job."
"Then something happened that no one expected," he continued. "The same system of well-oiled destruction failed. Ten months have passed, and two years and today we mark 16 years."
"We are here because we do not want to close our eyes," Berstazki added. "We do not want to keep quiet. We came here because we want to take responsibility for our future. We do not agree that in our world, people will be murdered just because they are trying to be good people."
"The Chinese Communist Party not only operates in China but also overseas, even here in Israel," he added, "just under different modes of operation. The party brings money, offers cooperation and asks just one simple little thing: keep quiet. Close our eyes."
Yaniv Nitzan, a spokesman for the Information Center of Falun Dafa in Israel, said there is now a phenomenon of a wave within China to file claims against former Communist Party chairman, Jiang Zi-Min, who initiated and executed the persecution in 1999.
"When the first domino falls, it's already possible to know the end game," Nitzan said. "Over 80 thousand Chinese people today are demanding justice, in China, the person who carried out the persecution of Falun Gong."
Rabbi Haim Cohen turned to the members of the Chinese embassy as well.
"The path of truth, through compassion and through tolerance, it's part of your culture," Rabbi Cohen said. "It's part of the character of the Chinese people."
"Stop persecution, skip the violation of human rights, and skip the hatred and oppression, for the creation of a society based not just on economics, but on happiness."