Projects Memorial day

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The Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony, which has been held on the eve of Memorial Day for the last eleven consecutive years, comes to remind us that war is not an act of fate but one of human choice. This ceremony is the largest annual event held by the Combatants for Peace movement. On this particularly difficult day we call upon both sides to acknowledge the pain and the aspirations of those living on the other side of the fence and for each of us to strive to prevent the next war. Perhaps during next year’s Memorial Day, additional losses will not have to reckoned with. At the ceremony, Israeli and Palestinian bereaved families speak about their personal pain.

The ceremony was held, during the few first times in the Tmuna Theater. It was initiated by Buma Inbar whose son Yotam fell in Lebanon in 1995. Since the initial event in 2006, the number of participants has increased every year. Last year about 2,500 people attended the event which was held at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds. Over the years 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. Year after year the event attracts increasing media attention in spite of the fact that we have had to deal with protests and attempts by right-wing politicians to disrupt the occasion.
This Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony demonstrates the reality of empathy and mutual respect among peoples.

The ceremony demonstrates, however briefly, the possibility of peace, not based on disregard for or indifference to the pain, but rather with a direct reference to the loss and bereavement on both sides.

This statement, delivered by Prof. Eva Illouz at the 2013 ceremony, is not radical. It is so basically human that we cannot allow anyone to thrust it to the sidelines.

This is the basis of the importance placed upon the event, together with the efforts made to expand it and, more and more, bring it to the center of our national consciousness.
"From the place where we are right, flowers will never grow in the spring"
Yehuda Amichai
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2015 ceremony review


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