Detractors say the event equates fallen Israeli soldiers with the terrorists who attacked them, and minimizes the struggle for Israel’s survival. Proponents say the event is meant to allow Palestinian and Israeli families who have lost loved ones to find common ground through their loss.
“There is no place for a memorial ceremony likening the blood of our people and that of terrorists,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter. “That is why I refused to allow for the entry of the ceremony’s participants, and I think the High Court should not have intervened in my decision.”
On Wednesday, Natan Landau of Combatants for Peace told Hadashot TV news that the families of terrorists who were killed were welcome as long as they expressed their opposition to terrorism.
“If a family says ‘we are against those acts and we believe in achieving peace through non-violent means,’ I believe it has a place,” he said.
Dozens of pro-Israel activists protested at the event. Police were on hand to maintain order.