Veterans protest Shabbat memorial service

The British Embassy's annual Remembrance Day commemoration this weekend to include a service on Saturday on Mt. Scopus.

ajex logo 88 (photo credit: )
ajex logo 88
(photo credit: )
Some members of AJEX, the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, are taking offense at one of the dates of the British Embassy's annual Remembrance Day commemoration this weekend. The reason: One of the two services will take place on Saturday at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem under the auspices of the British Consulate General in Jerusalem while another, under the auspices of the military section of the embassy, will be held on Sunday at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Ramle. Remembrance Day, which commemorates Armistice Day - the cessation in 1918 of World War I hostilities on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month - is observed by the Commonwealth of Nations and honors the memories of soldiers of the Commonwealth who fell in battle in that and subsequent wars. Remembrance Day services generally are held on the closest Sunday to November 11. Israel, according to British Defense Attache Col. A.K. Miller, is the only country in which two services are held. AJEX chairman and life president Harold Greene, a World War II veteran, and his wife Zelda lodged a protest with British Ambassador Simon McDonald and said they would not attend the Jerusalem service. For religious reasons, Jews are not supposed to visit cemeteries on the Sabbath. McDonald was not available for comment on Thursday. Miller told The Jerusalem Post that there was no intention to insult Jewish ex-servicemen with the decision. There are seven Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries in Israel, plus two in Gaza. The cemeteries in Jerusalem and Ramle are the largest. Several Jewish soldiers are buried on Mount Scopus.