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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

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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.”

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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.”

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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  • Rebecca Burack

    to Jack Holan,

    Please rewrite your comment with help from an English speaker. Your post is very important for people to read and understand correctly. I agree with you wholeheartedly but suspect others cannot understand it.

  • Yale

    We’ll know peace is around the corner when Palestinians seek to hold a remorseful commemoration of the pain they have inflicted on the Jews.

  • Reform School

    A message for Robi Damnelin: “You have earned the right to assist President Obama with his golf expedition to Mars. If published reports’ veracity approach his audacity, expect him to lay balls on Uranus during the trip.

  • Jack Holan

    Professor Steinberg hits the nail on the head especially on the issue. I never would have imagined that a day would come that the World at Large through the barage of clever propaganda and new forms of media, we would suddenly be the Antagonist and the ‘Palestinians’ Refugees of the Arab Worlds and UNs own making and the terrorist organizations would become the “Victims” Who would have thought that while Our soldiers in the IDF strive to be both Moral and Effective the terrorists play by not rules and somehow this balances out OK for the UN EU and now possible the US under Obama. Who would have thought that this World would demand of all the Crazy nutty insane things that WE DIE proportionately! This IS what they mean when they say we should respond proportionately. Why? Simply we are Jews. I assure you that the US, France England and Germany will nor respond this way. Its funny how little film reporting we see out of Iran, Syria and Afghanistan of civilians being killed but the are being killed. The are no NGOs in the US, England or Germany. Why? On the other hand, the NGOs working here in many cases are funded by European countries. Why?

  • nat cheiman

    This is obscene, to celebrate with palestinians in a memorial day. The world has become asinine

  • Peter Joffe

    If peace is the objective then both sides need to want it. The difference is, the huge difference is, that the “Palestinians” want total surrender of Israel and nothing less. An acceptable solution cannot be achieved under the circumstance and the fact remains that if the Palestinians continue to promote violence they will reap violence in return. “Certainly not on Memorial Day??? Not on any day is what the call should be.

  • Jay Lavine

    Those who don’t like what they perceive to be the agenda of these organizations should be trying on their own and in their own way to understand “the other,” but I don’t see them doing that. If they did, it would go far in reducing divisiveness. What I do see is a great deal of sinat chinam.

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