Largest ever Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony

Yom HaZikaron is Israel’s national Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers and victims of terror. It is marked on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day, suggesting an explicit link between the sacrifice made by those we mourn and the very existence of the State of Israel. Combatants for Peace and the Parents Circle Families Forum have been hosting a ceremony which mourns the loss of all those who fell in the context of the conflict – both Israelis and Palestinians — for the past 12 years. This year had the largest turnout yet.

Photo montage by: Gilad Kavalerchik

As thousands gathered for this special Israeli-Palestinian memorial service in Tel Aviv on Sunday night, they had to contend with protesters who shoved them and spat at them. But the vitriol outside couldn’t take away from what happened inside the sports stadium: 4,000 people turned out for a powerful show of Israeli-Palestinian solidarity.

Achinoam “Noa” Nini and Mira Awad took the stage along with many other performers and speakers to show that there is a future for both peoples.

Unfortunately, many were unable to attend. All Palestinians who requested permits for Sunday to attend the Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony were denied entry by Israel. These are the type of obstacles those living under occupation deal with. What makes these people change-makers is that they continue their work. Israelis and Palestinians who have lost relatives to the conflict were able to hold the event in person in past years but instead joined by video feed this year.

When Israelis and Palestinians are standing together, we stand with them.  In the UK, NIF livestreamed the moving ceremony in partnership with Yachad, Combatants for Peace and the Parents Circle Families Forum. Across the United States — in DC, NY, SF, and Seattle — Americans turned out at events to show solidarity.

The following video was shown at the ceremony:

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May 2017