Michael Boyden

You Can’t Just Paper Over the Cracks

What did the leaders of the government and the Opposition believe when they called on the nation to preserve the sanctity of Israel’s Memorial Day, Yom Ha-Zikaron, and leave controversy outside the cemetery?

How did they think bereaved families would re-act to Deputy Minister Ya’akov Tessler of the United Torah Judaism alliance being invited to address them at the cemetery in Be’er Tuvia, when he never served in the army and refuses to stand at attention next to the Israeli flag that is a symbol of our national independence?

Did they really believe that a fascist like Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was not accepted into the IDF, who is the Israeli equivalent of an American white supremacist, who wants to set up a personal militia and who reveres Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29 Muslims at prayer in the Cave of the Patriarchs, would be welcomed to the Yom Ha-Zikaron ceremony in Be’ersheba without a word of protest?

And what did they think when they proposed that Minister May Golan, who avoided military service and said that she was “a proud racist”, should be the speaker at the ceremony at Rishon LeZion? (At least she had the good sense to decide to stay away!)

This is not about Right or Left, or even about judicial reform, but about not wanting politicians to address the bereaved families at our cemeteries on Yom Ha-Zikaron when they themselves avoided military service. Nothing could be more hypocritical. Nothing could be more simple.

It shows how detached some of our politicians are from the reality on the ground that they believed that they could paper over the cracks and that we would just sit back and take it.

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
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