In a state in which nearly everything is mocked, even Holocaust Remembrance Day is no longer a sacred cow – and some people decided it was okay to have a barbeque in Jerusalem's Sacher Park just as the commemoration ceremony was beginning in Yad Vashem.
Just a fine day for a picnic. (Photo: Noam Moskovitz)
About 150 people came to Sacher Park. Some played soccer, some had a picnic. Locals, who are already used to such things during remembrance days, said that it was a known ritual. "It's annoying, but there's nothing we can do about it, we've already got used to it," said one local.
Ball games are also okay, it seems. (Photo: Noam Moskovitz)
One young man playing soccer said he didn't think it was disrespectful to the memory of the victims or the survivors. "How many times can we sit at home watching the same movies?" he asked. "In the ceremony at school tomorrow, we'll stand and honor the dead, but I've got nothing to do at home right now, and neither have my friends. As for the haredim who light up the barbeque – that's a bit less suitable."
Rabbi and attorney Uri Regev, head of the Hidush society which promotes equality and freedom of worship, said in response to the pictures, "It's time we woke up and understood that this isn't late winter rains we're feeling – their spitting in our faces. Holocaust Day is not an event that stands alone, it's part of a general perspective. Like Remembrance Day and Independence Day, Holocaust Day was determined by the Knesset whose laws they don't recognize, so it has no meaning for them.
"I have to admit I don't remember many cases of barbeques on Holocaust Day, but we know of cases where the state's flag has been burned by very extreme groups. The barbeque is just a symptom."
Ronen Medzini also contributed to this report.
Initial information received via Red Mail.