Ceremony Did Not Sit Well With Everyone

The state ceremony marking the return of the bodies of Staff Sergeants Avraham, Avitan and Suaed did not sit well with everybody. As reported prior to the event, several Knesset members refused to attend.

, | updated: 1:52 PM

Shas party head Eli Yeshai called the ceremony a wasteful "festival". "The insensitive production did not add anything for the families, whose only wish is to be reunited with their loved ones and to return to their anonymity," he said. "Were the abundant speeches and musical accompaniments truly necessary? It is interesting to see how many of those present will come to comfort the families when television cameras are not around."

Another person opposed to the ceremony, who was instrumental in bringing a case to court objecting to the release of the terrorists, was Meir Indor, of the Almagor terror victims association.

"Now it can be revealed," Indor wrote after the ceremony, "Everyone fooled everyone else!" He explained that the ceremony, which does not appear in any state protocols, was produced under orders of the prime minister "to milk the public for support, after the criticism he was exposed to as a result of the deal." Indor also blamed the media for collaboration, as well as the ceremony organizers for "dancing on the coffins."

On the other hand, offended by what was not included in the ceremony, was the spokespersons for the Action Committee for Jonathan Pollard. In none of the speeches delivered at the ceremony, even those which referred by name to missing or imprisoned Israelis abroad, was there any mention of Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned in the United States for his activities on behalf of Israel, the activists noted with disappointment.

Israel released hundreds of terrorists in exchange for the bodies of three soldiers and for the release of Elchanan Tenenbaum, asked Pollard Committee activists, "Isn't Jonathan Pollard, recognized as an Israeli agent acting on behalf of the state, worthy of at least a mention in the 'incomplete' list?"