Tuesday, September 28th | 22 Tishri 5782

May 10, 2016 8:25 pm

Watchdog: ‘No Excuse for Placing Attacker and Victim on Same Level, Certainly Not on Memorial Day’

avatar by Ruthie Blum

The invitation to the joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony. Photo: Facebook.

The invitation to the joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony. Photo: Facebook.

The head of a watchdog group that follows the financing and operations of non-governmental organizations blasted the holding of a Memorial Day gathering of Israelis and Palestinians “to remember the victims of violence on both sides.”

Responding to the event, held in Tel Aviv by the Combatants for Peace movement and the Parents Circle-Families Forum, Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, told The Algemeiner: “Today, as Palestinian terror, incitement and hate continue to take the lives of soldiers and the civilians they are sworn to protect, there is no excuse for a false equality that places attacker and victim on the same level — certainly not on  Memorial Day, our day as a nation and a people to collectively remember and mourn those who paid the highest price for our freedom and sovereignty among the nations of the world.”

The Facebook invitation to the event – whose accompanying slogan is “Sharing the pain, building hope” — explained the impetus for the annual “Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony” as follows: “Despite the statements that ‘forever we will live by the sword’ and the growing gap between our leaders, we believe that this period too is not an act of fate, but of an ongoing vicious cycle of violence for which human beings alone are responsible and are the victims of.”

Steinberg scoffed at the parity being presented. “Israel has lost 23,447 people to war and terror since 1948,” he said. “As Israelis quietly fill the country’s all-too-crowded cemeteries to cry and pay respect, this is not a day for the usual political jockeying or for pushing private and divisive agendas.”

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According to NGO Monitor, “While claiming to ‘allow each side to understand the other’s narrative,’ Combatants for Peace activities reflect a strong affiliation with the Palestinian agenda and narrative, placing most of the blame for the conflict on ‘the occupation.’”

The Parents Circle-Families Forum, according to NGO Monitor, “While advocating for ‘reconciliation,’ ‘dialogue,’ and ‘knowledge of the other,’ exploits the grief of families and the language of peace to promote a highly divisive, contentious, and narrow personal agenda… For instance, spokesperson Robi Damelin regularly travels to the United States on behalf of the organization, promoting views that place sole blame for the continuation of the conflict on Israel. Damelin regularly utilizes emotive language to elicit sympathy from her audience; refers to Hamas terrorism and Israeli self-defense as a ‘cycle of violence,’ thereby presenting a distorted view of the conflict; and cites BDS initiatives as ‘yet another indication that Israel is fast becoming the pariah of the word, and how we are losing our moral fiber.’”

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