After years of attempting to convince the army that it was an important issue, MK Zvulun Orlev (Bayit Yehudi) said that his long-running struggle to institute the singing of Hatikvah, Israel's National Anthem, as the final segment of official events in memory of fallen IDF soldier had succeeded.
Orlev said that he has been working on the issue since 2003 – for some nine years – when he served as Welfare Minister. He noticed that Hatikvah was not sung at the closing of the ceremonies in memory of IDF soldiers on Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) that took place on the Mount of Olives.
When he inquired, Orlev said, he was shocked to learn that Israel's national anthem was not part of the ceremony. After much effort, he convinced commanders at the event to play Hatikvah – although the words were not sung.
It was then that Orlev went on a lengthy campaign to convince top IDF brass that singing Hatikvah was an appropriate way to end such ceremonies – with both words and music.
Orlev said Monday that he had discovered that the decision was finally handed down by IDF brass to institute the singing of Hatikvah at the end of memorial ceremonies. The anthem will be led by a male soldier, and audience members will be able to join in and sing, if they wished.
Orlev said that Hatikvah had a special significance from a Jewish and Zionist perspective, and that it was the most appropriate way to end memorial ceremonies.