The High Court on Sunday rejected a petition to restrict the sounding of the siren on Memorial Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day to areas where ceremonies remembering the fallen were taking place. The court said that the siren “demonstrated the solidarity of all Israelis” with the events being commemorated.
According to the petition, which was brought by an individual who in the past was arrested for spraying graffiti at Yad Vashem and Ammunition Hill, the scene of an important battle in the Six Day War, the requirement by the state that individuals stand for two minutes while the siren was sounded was undemocratic and “a classic manifestation of dictatorial government, which requires citizens to stand at collective attention” even if they were not interested in doing so.
The petition asked that the sirens be sounded only in the area where remembrance ceremonies were taking place, and that any citizen who wished to express their solidarity with the events being commemorated could participate and stand at attention there.
The judges rejected this claim. “The siren does not 'creep into the public space' as the petition suggests,” they wrote in their decision, but expressed the nation's desire to unite with the memories of the fallen. “The sounding of the siren expresses and symbolizes the solidarity of all parts of the nation with the memories of the fallen, and it is a genuine expression of the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic nation,” they wrote.