More than 7,500 people attended an alternative memorial service Tuesday evening held by left-wing Israelis and Palestinians to remember fallen IDF soldiers and Israeli terror victims, as well as Palestinian victims of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict
] The event, held in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park, continued – while Israel celebrated its national Memorial Day – with a strong security presence involving hundreds of police, cavalry and detectives from the Tel Aviv district.
It first took place in an open space after the organizers claimed that it was prevented from being held in Holon. Outside the ceremony, around 150 right-wing activists demonstrated.
Writer David Grossman,
The Israeli President for Hebrew Literature and Poetics, who received the Israeli Prize for Hebrew Literature and Poetics on the Independence Day, said during the ceremony, "It There is a lot of noise and riot about our ceremony, but we do not forget that it is a ceremony of commemoration and communion. There is also noise. In our case, there is a deep silence of emptiness that has arisen from the loss. "
He mentioned his son Uri, who was killed in the Second Lebanon War. "My family and I lost Uri, a young, sly, sweet and funny man – at war, even now, 12 years later, I find it hard to speak publicly about him – the death of a loved one is the death of one unique private culture, with its own language and its own secret, and it will cease to exist and there will be no other culture like this one.
"It is so easy to devote oneself to hatred and anger and the desire to take revenge, but every time I get tempted by hatred, I lose the living contact with my son." Something is distorted decision made and made my decision, and it seems that all the people present here have made the other choice, there is creation and grief that binds us together, old enemies can also connect for grief and for that reason. "
Grossman, who was occasionally applauded by the audience, added, "I've learned that every family member can mourn as they please, and no one can tell another person how to grieve, both for a private family and for Israel bereaved family.
"There is a sense of common destiny and destiny that only we can understand, and if the definition of the 'Mourning Family' is genuine and sincere, please respect our way, it deserves respect It's a simple and obvious way. It's full of inner contradictions, but that's our way of making sense of the death of our loved ones after their death, and that's our way – not to act and not to despair, hence the war dies in the future and can stop completely, and we can live a full life instead of surviving from one disaster to the next.
"We, Israelis and Palestinians who have lost our loved ones, people who were dearer to us than our own lives, we touch reality through an open wound, a person who has been hurt in this way does not. " I am in illusions and know that life is an endless compromise. Grief makes us more sober in terms of power limitations or the illusions of rulers. We are more suspicious and are disgusted by manifestations of nationalist arrogance or haughty leader statements. We are allergic to it. "
He added, "Israel is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, if only we could celebrate more and more generations of people living in peace alongside a Palestinian state and living a daily routine clear and stable walls, whose inhabitants are familiar with its intimate relationships that reflect the future and continuity, we are not here yet, we, the Jewish people, must be a home, Israel is a fortress, but it is not a home yet.
"If the Israelis have no home, the Palestinians will have no home and vice versa, if Israel is not a home, Palestine will not be a home either, I have granddaughters at the age of six and three, and for them is Israel an obvious thing that we have a state, roads, schools, hospitals, a language rich in Hebrew. "
Grossman then attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. "I belong to a generation where these things were not obvious, and that's the place I'm talking about, this approach that we've finally brought home, but an Israel that has been oppressing one people for over 70 years and one Apartheid is less a home If the Secretary of Defense prevents peace-loving Palestinians from attending a peaceful gathering, it is less a home If the Prime Minister rebels against human rights organizations and seeks to pass laws that will override the Supreme Court of Israel for all of us less a home. "
He added that "if Israel discriminates against its peripheral residents and discriminates against the inhabitants of South Tel Aviv and is insensitive to Holocaust survivors and the elderly, and hospitals collapse, it is less a home and it is an if discriminating against one and a half million Palestinian citizens of Israel, it is less home to both the minority and the majority If Israel denies the Jewishness of millions of Reformed and Conservative Jews, it is less a home, given its loyalty to the government and the Israeli government is less home. "
Grossman announced that he would distribute half of the prize money he would receive on Independence Day between the parent's Circle Families Forum and the Elifelet organization helping refugee children.
"I see these as bodies engaging in worship and doing the most humane things the government itself should have done, I want a home with life that is not enslaved by fanatics with a messianic vision, a state, who, out of concern for the man who lives in it, acts out of compassion and tolerance for all the dialects of Israeli being, for that is the divine truth, I hope our grandsons will be here in 70 years, Israelis and Palestinians, everyone sings his own hymn with a common sentence: "to be a free people in our country".
Among the demonstrators, dozens of "La Familia" and Lahava members shouted "Death to the Arabs" and "Death to the Terrorists". The demonstrators burned a Palestinian flag and set up commemorative candles in memory of fallen IDF soldiers and victims of terror.
Lawyer Itamar Ben-Gvir, a right-wing activist belonging to the demonstrators, proposed the "insane leftist" for the initiative.
"The crazy and insane left is here, how can one compare the murdered saints who sacrificed their souls for the sanctification of Israel and the scum, the Molotov cocktails and the committed murder?" Ben-Gvir said outside the ceremony. "Thank God they were killed, in every healthy world (sic) terrorists are eliminated and terrorists are praised."
The rapper Yoav Eliasi, known as "The Shadow," pledged to appear in greater numbers the next time the annual event takes place.
"Next time, we'll turn up by the thousands, we can not handle this day with contempt," he said before declaring that the demonstrators were against terrorists and not against Arabs. "We do not call death for Arabs, but, death for terrorists & # 39 ;."
Another activist, Ran Karmi Buzaglo, said the activists came to give voice to our fallen sons who died, the homeland. Your event is a shame for the bereaved. We will not let things continue as if nothing is happening. "
Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court ordered
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to allow the entry of 90 Palestinians to the ceremony. The court ordered that the same number of entry permits be issued as in 2016, provided that a strict investigation reveals that they do not pose a security risk.
Lieberman, who wanted to prevent the Palestinians from attending the event, attacked the judges for their decision. "The Supreme Court created an equality between grief and terrorism, murdered and murdered this morning," he said in a devastating tweet. "The court's decision is an affront to this most glorious and unifying day for the people of Israel, and the end result is division rather than unity."
Almagor, the organization of terror victims, expressed its anger at the verdict that allowed the Palestinians to attend the ceremony. "We oppose the decision of the Supreme Court to allow Palestinian terrorists and their families to attend the joint ceremony," said Meir Indor, chairman of the organization.
"You have no right to enter Israel, it's a privilege, the courts can make exceptions to unique medical cases, but that's not the case, it's almost like having a joint ceremony for the SS Men executing executors and victims of Holocaust Remembrance Day. "