Lapid hosts ‘Singing in the Square’ despite protest

In weeks leading up to TA Remembrance Day ceremony, bereaved families spoke out against Lapid hosting event.

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April 24, 2012 23:12
2 minute read.
Yair Lapid hosts Yom hazikaron ceremony at Rabin S

Yair Lapid hosts Yom hazikaron ceremony at Rabin Square 370. (photo credit: LAHAV HARKOV)

 
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Yair Lapid hosted the Tel Aviv Municipality’s Remembrance Day ceremony, “Singing in the Square,” on Tuesday night, despite protests and controversy surrounding his role.

“Singing in the Square,” which took place in Rabin Square and featured popular singers such as Mosh Ben-Ari, Omer Adam, Yoni Rechter, Zahav Ben and others performing songs about fallen IDF soldiers, is Tel Aviv’s official ceremony and is broadcast on Channel 10.

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Lapid, a former news anchor who came up with the idea, has been hosting the ceremony for the past 15 years. In addition, short documentaries about the fallen are shown.

In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, various politicians, groups representing bereaved families and others spoke out against Lapid hosting the event, as he plans to run for a Knesset seat.

However, during the ceremony, Lapid refrained from saying anything that could be interpreted as political. In fact, he did not make any personal comments, simply introducing and reading poems about and by fallen soldiers.

Last month, Lapid wrote on his Facebook page that he had originated “Singing in the Square” and could continue to host it without making it political.

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Unlike in previous years, Army Radio did not broadcast the ceremony, choosing to air the Remembrance Day event at the Knesset, instead. One of the reasons the station cited is that “the ceremony in Tel Aviv will be moderated by a political person.”

Meanwhile, the Almagor Terror Victims Association held an alternative ceremony in the plaza in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, in protest of Lapid’s central role in “Singing in the Square.”

“We are angry and do not understand how, despite the requests of families of victims of terror not to give a platform to politicians on Remembrance Day, Yair Lapid took advantage of a loophole that allows him to get into every home in the country,” the organization stated.

On Monday, the High Court rejected a petition by attorney Assaf Even-Chen for an injunction to stop Lapid from participating in “Singing in the Square.”

The High Court’s reasoning was technical, relying on the fact that because Even-Chen did not include Lapid or Channel 10 in the petition and because he did not submit the complaint far enough in advance.

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