The event used foreign funds to promote the Palestinian narrative, pushing an “immoral equivalence between terror victims and terrorists,” said NGO Monitor.
An annual “Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony” was blasted again this year for comparing those killed by Palestinians in violent attacks to the terrorists perpetrating these heinous crimes.
An investigation by watchdog organization NGO Monitor revealed that much of the funding for the event comes from outside Israel, including the government of Switzerland and several German NGOs, among others.
The event is co-organized by Combatants For Peace (CfP), a group that says its members are former Israeli and Palestinian fighters. CfP claims the annual memorial is needed because “traditionally, Israelis ignore the grief of Palestinian families.”
This year’s event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic, with sponsors including the Union for Reform Judaism, J Street, Peace Now, IfNotNow, and Churches for Middle East Peace, Haaretz reported.
NGO Monitor slammed, commenting in a statement, “Its activities reflect a strong affiliation with the Palestinian agenda and narrative, placing most of the blame for the conflict on ‘the occupation.’”
Broadcast on YouTube, the event featured an Israeli moderator in Tel Aviv and a Palestinian in Ramallah, both of whom introduced various Israeli and Palestinian speakers during the roughly 70-minute long event.
“Contrary to the image presented by the organizers, the event represents a narrow, one-sided part of Israeli civil society, and promotes a Palestinian narrative that draws an immoral equivalence between terror victims and terrorists,” NGO Monitor said.
The organization added, “Many bereaved families in Israel have spoken out against the NGO sponsors and their focus on exclusive Israeli ‘guilt,’ rejection of the legitimacy of Israeli narratives, and the political messages that are transmitted, explicitly and implicitly. While the sponsors claim to be advancing peace, there is no evidence for their claim.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, slammed the European Union for supporting the event.
“Shame on you for financing [this] disgrace,” tweeted the younger Netanyahu, adding “We have one day in a year to remember our fallen soldiers! And you destroy it with a ‘memorial’ to Palestinian terrorists!”
Netanyahu’s comments were a response to a tweet from the official account of the European Union’s Mission in Israel.
The well-known Elder-of-Ziyon blog commented that “while the ceremony itself was tastefully done, that is not the story … not one organization that sponsored it was Palestinian” and despite 200,000 people allegedly watching online, the blogger “could not find a single comment in Arabic” in the thousands of live chat comments.
“The real story is that this is not a joint Israeli-Palestinian peace effort, which would be worthwhile,” the blogger commented, adding that it promotes “a political agenda that has little to do with ‘peace.’”
“If the Jews and Palestinians who are part of these groups really cared about peace, they would be prioritizing teaching Palestinians to accept Israel as a permanent Jewish state. They would be inviting Israelis to speak about peace to Palestinian groups. They would be holding conferences in how to achieve peace in Ramallah as often as they do in Tel Aviv. And none of them are doing that, at least in a way that is visible.”