Illustration: Funeral of Arab rioter by Haim Schwarczenberg (schwarczenberg.com) [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia
As Memorial Day began on Tuesday night and the Jewish nation was remembering their loved ones who were slain by Arab enemies, the unimaginable occurred.
A group of Israelis, some of whom lost family to Arab terrorists, stood together with the families of Arab terrorists, sharing the hurt and losses on both sides.
The Israeli government had wanted to bar the families of the terrorists who fought against the Jewish state from entering Israel. It was deemed inappropriate to publicly equate the pain of the killers' families with that of the victims’ families — especially on Memorial Day.
But of course this antiquated thinking predates the “higher ideal” of moral relativism and equivalency — the "choose your narrative" philosophy leaves no room for right or wrong, good or evil.
The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that it is indeed the right of the families of Israel’s enemies to enter Israel and take part in the "alternative memorial ceremony."
Imagine for a moment a memorial service for the U.S. sailors who died at Pearl Harbor held together with the grieving families of the kamikaze pilots. Or imagine a ceremony for Auschwitz victims held together with mourning families of SS guards who were shot by the Russian liberating forces.
After all, pain is pain and loss is loss. Who can determine whose narrative and whose pain is more worthy?
Some years ago I guided a group of German tourists. The tour leader, their pastor, was a nice man and we hit it off. One evening after dinner, as the group sat on the shores of the Kinneret, we got to talking. Of course, the conversation eventually led to that permanent silent elephant in the room — the Holocaust.
After a long moment of quiet, one of the group decided to get something off her chest. She blurted out, "But we all suffered. Members of my own family were killed by Russian planes as they were fleeing the approaching front. Why is our suffering any less? It is all the same."
There was a long uncomfortable silence. I was trying to form my response in proper German sentences when the pastor saved me the trouble.
He stood up, staring at her in disdain, and said, "Are you really that stupid? Have you learned nothing?"
Have we learned nothing, that we succumb to the same warped moral relativism?
Thursday is Israeli Independence Day. We will be celebrating our independence after 2,000 years of exile and suffering. We will be celebrating our victory in the 1948 War of Independence — a fight of survival against our Arab neighbors who announced they were going to kill us all. Their genocidal plans were foiled by a handful of Jews, and they have not gotten over that failure to this very day.
They refer to our Independence Day as nakba (catastrophe). Our escape from genocide is their catastrophe. This is understandable, as haters have their own values.
What is harder to fathom is how some Israelis identify with the pain and frustration of those who want to kill us all, and hold joint ceremonies with them. It is harder to understand how they advocate making room for their "narrative" as part of the true Israeli experience.
Contact Shalom Pollack, veteran licensed tour guide, for upcoming tours at Shalom Pollack Tours: Personalized Tours in Israel. Click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.