Woman at soldier's grave 311.
(photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)
The Defense Ministry revealed on Sunday that it had quietly rejected a petition
by bereaved families to institute a full day of separation between Remembrance
Day and Independence Day.
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Petitioners complained that the ministry had
dragged its feet in issuing an official announcement of the
Attorney Yosef Tamir and Shmuel Tamir-Chouraqui, the son and
grandson of the late justice minister Shmuel Tamir, whose IAF pilot son, Lt.
David Tamir, was killed along with nine others when their helicopter crashed on
July 8, 1971, began their push to separate the two emotionally polar days in
They, together with other relatives of the fallen, said that
“bereaved families also have a desire to celebrate Independence Day, but the
proximity to Remembrance Day prevents us from being able to release ourselves
from the feelings of pain and to celebrate with the rest of the nation of
The stark transition that characterizes the shift between the
two national events, they said, was too difficult for families, and prevented
them from being able to appropriately grieve on Remembrance Day and from
celebrating on Independence Day.
“We feel as though it is the people who
paid the heaviest price, are ironically the ones who cannot participate in the
happiness and find themselves ‘outside the camp,’” said Tamir-Chouraqui, 23, who
spearheaded the effort, including opening a page dedicated to the petition on
“This situation in which in the course of the mourning you
already hear calls of “Happy Holiday,” people speak about the parties that they
will have that evening, and the fireworks are already being fired skywards, is
unbearable and infuriating.
We must push Remembrance Day back by one day
out of respect for the fallen, for the bereaved families and for all of
More than 5,000 people, including MKs, public figures and bereaved
family members signed the petition.
The Tamirs submitted the it in 2010,
asking that the proposal be considered by the Public Committee for the
Commemoration of the Soldier, a civilian body consisting of representatives of
both bereaved relatives and the general public. The committee, whose 27 members
are appointed by the defense minister, determines the procedures for civil
commemoration of military deaths.
But, Tamir-Chouraqui said, the Defense
Ministry had delayed publishing the decision made by the committee not to
separate the two days.
The ministry said in response that the committee
had voted unanimously in a meeting on January 26 against the
“The close connection between Remembrance Day and Independence
Day that both separates the two and draws them close, was first done out of
necessity and in a short time gained ideological justification,” the Defense
Ministry wrote. “The question of proximity between the two days is periodically
raised, and it is actually on that background that the ideological basis for the
joining of the two days has only deepened.”