Remembrance Day: the siren sounds.
Remembrance Day: the siren sounds. Israel news photo: Flash 90

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovich slammed a planned Remembrance Day ceremony set for next week in which Israelis and Palestinians will “acknowledge the pain and the aspirations of those living on the other side,” according to the sponsors of the event, Combatants for Peace. Kalmanovich said that the idea of equating Israel's defense of innocent citizens with Palestinian attempts to kill Jews and being eliminated by Israeli defense forces was “sickening.”

This will be the ninth year the ceremony, to be held in Tel Aviv, will take place. The ceremony, according to the group, “demonstrates, however briefly, the possibility of peace, not on the basis of disregard for or indifference to the pain, but rather with a direct reference to the loss and bereavement on both sides.” It is not a “radical statement. It is so basically human that we cannot allow anyone to thrust it to the sidelines.”

Over the years, the group said, the ceremony has been attended by intellectuals and artists including Yoni Rechter, Prof. Yehuda (Judd) Ne’eman, recipient of the Israel Prize, Alon Oleartchik, Achinoam Nini, Noam Rotem, Mira Awad, Prof. Eva Illouz and others.

But Kalmanovich, who himself was injured in the first Intifada in 1989, said that there was no place for an event like this in Israel. “Memorial Day is a holy day on which we honor the memories of those who died defending us, and gave us the state we live a normal life in on a silver platter. To honor those who opposed this and fought back against us, is a desecration.”

Kalmanovich called on officials to for once and for all intervene and ban the event, on the grounds that it was an incitement against the feelings of millions of Israelis. “The terrorist who threw a firebomb at me was not seeking to hurt me personally, but to harm a Jew living in Israel. To conflate the soldiers who died defending us with the terrorists who died attacking us and those soldiers is unbelievable and shocking. Would we allow the parents of Nazi soldiers killed in World War II to participate in our Holocaust memorial services? Equating the Jewish Israeli suffering with Palestinian 'suffering' in this context is the same thing.”