An Israel Defense Forces band slated to perform in a military memorial ceremony will take the stage only at the end of the event in order to allow members of the Bnei Akiva religious youth movement, who do not listen to women's singing, to leave before the ceremony's musical part begins.
The decision was made Monday night in a meeting between the youth movement's management and the producers of the ceremony in memory of a convoy of 35 Haganah soldiers killed in 1948, following a Ynet report that Bnei Akiva had decided to boycott the event as its members are strict about not listening to women sing.
In light of the understandings, a Knesset Education Committee meeting which was scheduled to discuss the matter on Tuesday is expected to be canceled.
According to the decision, which was also approved by Defense Ministry officials taking part in organizing the event, the band's performance will not be part of the memorial ceremony and each Bnei Akiva member will be able to decide whether he wishes to stay or go up to a nearby hill and wait for the rest of the members there.
At first, the youth movement's representatives suggested that the band's performance would open the event and that those who wish to avoid listening to it would be "late", so that the members' departure at the end of the ceremony would not be interpreted as a protest, but the Defense Ministry favored the final proposal.
Bnei Akiva's secretary-general, Rabbi Benny Nachtailer, said in response to the compromise: "We are proud to be the youth movement of the entire national religious public in Israel. The disagreements within this public do not prevent and will not prevent us in the future from raising together the movement's flag, the flag of Torah and labor.
"Separating between the ceremony and performance will provide a solution for all Bnei Akiva members, who are the majority of those attending the event. We hope to continue working in the coming years with the Gush Etzion Regional Council, which is doing a lot to commemorate the casualties of the Convoy of 35."
Gush Etzion Mayor Shaul Goldstein, who will be hosting the event, welcomed the compromise as well. "I am glad we have managed to reach understandings between all of the participants and lead to the accomplishment of our two goals: Holding an event uniting the entire people of Israel and commemorating the heritage of the 1948 fighters.
"There is no doubt that this agreement is a direct and suitable continuation of the 35 fighters' heritage," he concluded.