Top court orders entry permits to bereaved Palestinians for joint memorial event
Israel’s High Court of Justice ordered that bereaved Palestinians be granted entry into Israel to attend a joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony, rejecting an earlier decision by defense minister Avigdor Liberman barring them from attending the alternative event in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
The High Court’s ruling came after the organizers of the ceremony, Parents Circle – Families Forum and Combatants for Peace, filed an urgent petition against Liberman’s decision to bar 110 Palestinians from entering Israel to attend the event, which he called a “demonstration of bad taste and insensitivity.”
The petition argued that the discretion given to the defense minister and IDF commander responsible for issuing or not issuing entry permits to Palestinians "does not authorize them to consider what is ‘good taste’ or ‘bad taste,’ or even what ‘hurts people’s feelings'."
The state initially responded to the petition by claiming that some of the Palestinians due to attend the event were relatives of Palestinians killed during terror attacks against Israel. It was subsequently forced to admit, however, that it had no evidence to support those claims.
The High Court on Tuesday overturned Liberman’s decision, with the justices writing in their ruling that "the defense minister's judgment is completely devoid of sensitivity to the bereaved families' considerations, who want to hold a ceremony with Israelis and Palestinians."
The court said that both Liberman’s decision and subsequent statement had “completely ignored” the sentiments of the bereaved families and parts of the Israeli public which identified with the “content and goals” of the joint ceremony.
Liberman had been unpersuaded by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit's proposed compromise last week to allow a small delegation of Palestinians wishing to attend the ceremony entry into Israel.
As a result, the court ordered that the army grant 90 Palestinians from the West Bank permission to attend the ceremony -- the same number as were permitted to attend in 2016.
The ceremony's organizers welcomed the High Court ruling saying they were pleased that the court "has made it clear that the defense minister also has limits and that he has to keep his sense of taste to himself."
Liberman slammed the decision as equating “bereaved families with terrorists, and victims with murderers.”
“The ruling of the court damages the most unifying day for the Israeli people,” he tweeted. “The final result is that instead of unity, there is division.”
The event in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park on Tuesday evening will feature such speakers as internationally renowned author David Grossman -- whose son Uri Grossman was killed in the second Lebanon war and Amal Abu Saad, the widow of late Yacoub Abu al-Qayan, who was killed by Israeli police last year in Umm al-Hiran.
Last year's joint ceremony drew some 4,000 attendees, well as some 100 right-wing demonstrators who attacked the participants.
Organizers of the event, which has been held for the past 13 years, said they aim to jointly honor the Palestinian and Israeli victims and bring together the bereaved families from both sides, emphasizing that both sides are victims to the conflict.
You need to be logged in in order to post comments. Sign up or log in
This is political relativism until leftist theology takes over. Then it becomes leftist theofascism of Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin & Mao, Castro & Maduro.