A group of Israeli protestors demonstrated against a Memorial Day event that commemorated the lives of IDF soldiers who fell in battle – and the lives of the terrorists they fought against. The leftist “Lochamim Leshalom” (“Fighting for Peace”) group were faced with dozens of parents of Israelis killed in terror attacks, and IDF soldiers who fell fighting the terrorists the leftist group was commemorating.
“We have come to express our hurt and paid at the cynical use of Memorial Day, in which we remember our loved ones who fell defending the state, to push a radical political agenda,” said Eliyahu Nissim, a leader of the protest and member of a group that provides terror victims with legal representation and assistance. “To our shock, we were subjected to the term 'Nakba' by members of this group to describe their commemoration. That term is used by our enemies to describe the establishment of Israel,” Nissim said. The protestors held their own memorial service outside the auditorium where the Lochamim Leshalom group was meeting, and then shouted slogans at the group, saying that they would “not permit the shaming of the memories of our fallen.”
Nissim said that his group had attempted to prevent the Lochamim Leshalom memorial from taking place at all, but failed. The group approached top officials in Tel Aviv and the management of the Exhibition Grounds, where the event was held, marshaling assistance from other groups, such as the Almagor terror victims group, the Yad Lebanim memorial group, and others.
Knesset members from the Likud Beiteinu, Jewish Home, Yesh Atid, and Labor all sought to get the event cancelled, but to no avail. Intervention by government ministers Yair Shamir and Uri Ariel also failed to halt the event.
In a letter to city officials, the groups asked “How can the State of Israel allow a public event that equates terror victims with their murderers? Does 'freedom of expression' give a far-left political group the right to desecrate the memories of fallen soldiers and terror victims, in complete oblivion to the feelings of their families?” In response, several members of the Tel Aviv City Council said that they were “disgusted” that the event took place, and would work to ensure that it did not repeat itself.
The group also asked police to step in, saying that the Lochamim Leshalom event was a provocation against hundreds of thousands of Israeli families. Police said that as the event was being held on private property, there was nothing they could do.