Holon refuses to host Israeli-Palestinian alternative Memorial Day event
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Holon refuses to host Israeli-Palestinian alternative Memorial Day event

After council labels annual meet ‘political,’ Combatants for Peace and Bereaved Parents’ Circle secures Tel Aviv location instead, expects big turnout

Palestinians and Israelis attend an Israeli-Palestinian memorial ceremony in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2017, as Israel marks its annual Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Palestinians and Israelis attend an Israeli-Palestinian memorial ceremony in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2017, as Israel marks its annual Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

A central Israeli municipal council has refused to allow Israeli-Palestinian groups to hold their annual alternative ceremony on the day that the country marks Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism.

The Holon Council said the gathering, planned for April 17, was “political,” the Haaretz newspaper reported Friday.

The two organizations involved — Combatants for Peace and the Parents’ Circle – Families Forum — told the newspaper that their request to use a sports hall belonging to a municipal-owned company was turned down after six weeks of negotiations.

Organizer Nathan Landau told Haaretz he believed someone “up high” had ordered the rejection.

The joint ceremony has been held since 2006, attracting growing audiences each year. Last year, it took place at Tel Aviv’s Exhibition Grounds, with 4,000 participants, several hundred of whom had to stay outside because the hall was so full.

This year, the director of the company that allowed last year’s Exhibition Grounds gathering, Nadav Greenspan, said the facility could not be used again because it was too small. The company had “stretched the boundaries of security” to allow last year’s gathering to take place, he said.

With the cancellation of the Holon venue, the ceremony organizers have secured a compound in Tel Aviv’s Yehoshua Gardens instead. Organizers estimate that this year’s ceremony will cost more than twice as much as last year’s and have launched a funding campaign.

Over recent years, extreme right-wing Jews have protested outside the ceremony. Last year, they cursed, threatened and reportedly threw urine at participants until police arrived.

צפו בעימותים המילוליים בין נאמני ארץ ישראל לבוגדי השמאל אמש שקיימו טקס יום הזכרון למחבלים שפלים.אחד מפעילי הימין קרא לעבר פושעי השמאל: "בן דוד שלי נרצח בפיגוע".

Posted by ‎למען ארץ ישראל‎ on Monday, 1 May 2017

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