Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
An Israeli family visits their fallen loved one at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery, April 26, 2020.

The decision to close military cemeteries on Memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers due to the coronavirus crisis “is not unrealistic, but it is wrong,” said the chairman of the Special Committee on Dealing With the Coronavirus, MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid-Telem), on Sunday.

The decision, MK Shelah added, “represents something essential that has been raised in the committee’s meetings – instead of instructing the public and treating it as an intelligent public that is capable of receiving instructions and following them, they are dealing with sweeping prohibitions that cause harm.”

Advertisement



“I am not a member of a bereaved family, but Memorial Day is close to my heart, and I visit dozens of families of friends of my father’s, my son’s and my own. Had they said that only bereaved families may visit (the cemeteries) while upholding the (emergency health regulations), I wouldn’t visit, and I’m sure the bereaved families would prefer such a situation. The decision is not unreasonable, but it causes unnecessary pain to many families in Israel, and it shows that the governmental echelon has not yet internalized that life in the shadow of the corona(virus) should not include only bans, but also explanations to the public, with understanding and trusting the public.”

MK Moshe Abutbul (Shas) said “this is a very sensitive and painful issue,” and called for a solution to be found also for those who observe the upsherin haircutting ceremony in Meron.

MK Yoav Segalovitz (Yesh Atid-Telem) said, “There is a combination here of pressure, hysteria and democracy, particularly in light of the reports on the meeting at the National Security Council on the potential for civil disturbances. We mustn’t get our basic conventions confused. (The body) in charge of handing civil disturbances is the police, not the National Security Council.”

Advertisement