A group of extreme leftists is planning to hold an alternative Memorial Day ceremony this coming Wednesday, when Israelis remember the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.
The ceremony is being held by an organization called ‘Combatants for Peace’, with the main difference between its ceremony and the central Memorial Day ceremonies being that the organization includes Israeli bereaved parents and Palestinian Authority Arab bereaved parents (that is, parents of terrorists who were killed while fighting IDF soldiers) under the same category of remembrance and loss.
The alternative ceremony has been held for the past seven years and this year, for the second year in a row, a group of Israeli youth is planning to show up and protest the inclusion of Arabs.
Nissim Eliyahu from Herzliya, one of the organizers of the protest against the ceremony, told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that the ceremony is in fact a political event under the guise of a memorial event.
“They call the terrorists fighters and hold a joint ceremony,” said Eliyahu, emphasizing that if the organizers had expressed their wish to commemorate the deaths of innocent Arabs who died during battles, he would understand this even if he does not agree with it, but noted that “unfortunately this is not the case.”
Eliyahu said he approached ‘Combatants for Peace’ and asked them for clarification on this issue, but was ignored. However, he noted, the advertisement for the ceremony says that it is also meant for families of “Palestinian combatants.”
“Last year a group of about thirty people came to their ceremony with protest signs and called out against the degradation of Israel’s fallen,” said Eliyahu, adding that quite a few bereaved families who arrived at the ceremony without knowing its true nature beforehand, turned around and left when they realized the truth.
Eliyahu said that during the ceremony, there were references to the intifada and to the Nakba, the ‘catastrophe’ of the establishment of the State of Israel.
He added that he hopes that this year, many more will come out to protest the event. “We are not going to disrupt it. That is not our way. It is a painful day for us, and we are not looking to use harsh words or violence, but simply to speak out against this disgrace.”