Photo: Ido Beker
Journey of life motorcade
Photo: Ido Beker

'It's like this war never happened'

Bereaved families outraged at PM's absence from memorial ceremonies at Kfar Giladi, Mount Herzl. Families plan motorcade through war's pivotal points ending at official ceremony in Jerusalem

Dozens of bereaved families and friends took part in a memorial service for the Second Lebanon War near Kfar Giladi Monday, where 12 reserve soldiers were killed during the fighting.


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not attend the ceremony due to security considerations.


Elipaz Baloha, who lost his son in the war, was clearly disappointed.


"I'm not surprised. For him (Olmert) it's as if this war never happened. He didn't know what to do during the war and he doesn't know what to do now that it's over...He hasn’t attended any event concerning the war.


"He should have at least shown us the respect of showing up for the war's first memorial service. Unfortunately, he chose to hide behind some security consideration," said Baloha.


Some of the bereaved families have decided not to attend the official memorial service in Jerusalem. "It feels like this isn't a real ceremony, just something the State is doing to appease the families. I have no intention of going where I'm not wanted," added Baloha.


Baloha went on to tell Ynet about the "journey of life" he and other families have decided to organize, starting at the Kfar Giladi ceremony and ending at the Jerusalem one.


"This is our response to the blatant disregard the State showed the memorial ceremonies. It was only two weeks ago that the committee for State symbols and ceremonies decided to hold an official memorial service at Mount Herzl," he added. "Even that decision was carried with limited attendance from the committee's members."


The "journey of life" motorcade will go through a number of points symbolizing the Lebanon war, includng border-mark 105, where Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped.


The journey would later visit Nahariya, Akko and Haifa, where the war claimed the lives of local residents, ending at 6pm at Mount Herzl, where the official ceremony is scheduled to be held.


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former Defense Minister Amir Peretz and eight other ministers will be absent from the ceremony, commemorating the 155 people who were killed during the war.


According to protocol, since the service at Mount Herzl is not a State ceremony but rather an official one, the prime minister's attendance is not mandatory.


Representing the government will be Defense Minister Ehud Barak.


פרסום ראשון: 07.02.07, 11:59
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