Seniors Take Civics Exam - Then Eulogize Israeli Democracy

Dozens of high school seniors in N'vei Dekalim dutifully took their matriculation exams in civics today - but later conducted a "funeral ceremony" for Israeli democracy.

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, | updated: 13:23

The "memorial" took place at the Cultural Center in N'vei Dekalim.

Einat Yefet, one of the seniors who initiated the ceremony, explained to Voice of Israel Radio, "We learned about democracy all year, but in the end, we saw that there is no connection between what we learned and the way things are happening - and so we decided on this protest measure on the lack of democracy in our country."

"In the end," she said, "we are the ones to suffer - our basic civil rights are being trampled upon, whether it be that we vote for representatives to represent us and in the end they do the exact opposite; or when they try to remove the bodies of our relatives from their graves [her 18-year-old brother Itamar was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the second month of the Oslo War, in Nov. 2000]; or in that our basic civil rights have been removed, including the right to human dignity and good reputation, which the government and media have long besmirched... But we did do the test, and we did study, because we believe that we will be the new leadership and we will be those who bring the new spirit of democracy - and we promise, with G-d's help, that we will bring true democracy."

Many students who took the test agreed beforehand to write, in orange (the official color of the struggle against the disengagement), "Where is the shame? Students of Israel demand democracy - and not only in books!"

At 5 PM, students who took the civics exam will protest outside the Education Ministry in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, will take part with hundreds of Gush Katif residents in a "Torah and Prayer" gathering this evening. The stated purpose: "To cancel all evil decrees, to strengthen the hearts with love for one another, and with love for Torah and the Land." The event, including a lecture by Rabbi Eliyahu, will take place at the central "Synagogues Square" in the "capital" of Gush Katif, N'vei Dekalim.