Israeli president urges nation to unite on Holocaust memorial day | Inquirer News

Israeli president urges nation to unite on Holocaust memorial day

/ 07:38 AM April 18, 2023

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes Remembrance Day Ceremony

Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks at the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day opening ceremony in memory of the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, April 17, 2023. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

JERUSALEM — President Isaac Herzog called for unity during Israel’s annual Holocaust commemorations on Monday as the nation remains deeply divided over plans by the far-right government to implement a judicial overhaul.

The president’s office has been engaged in talks between Israeli opposition members to broker a compromise with the governing coalition over planned judicial changes which would see Israel’s highest court stripped of much of its power.


While proponents of the plan say it would restore balance between Israeli authorities, critics say it removes checks and balances on government actions.


“I appeal to you, citizens of Israel, with a simple prayer: let us leave these sacred days, which begin tonight and end on Independence Day, above all dispute; let us all come together, as always, in partnership, in grief, in remembrance,” he said at the opening ceremony of the memorial day.

Meanwhile, at a separate ceremony in Tel Aviv Synagogue, a member of parliament from Netanyahu’s Likud party chose to leave a memorial ceremony after being heckled by audience members.

Videos on social media show participants chanting “shame” at member of parliament Boaz Bismuth who delivered a speech despite minor scuffles.

A spokesperson for Bismuth said he completed his speech and called on those present to “preserve the sanctity of the day”.

A leader of Israel’s opposition, Benny Gantz, criticised the hecklers and called for unity.

“I condemn this, and although I understand the differences of opinion and distress felt by many in the nation, I ask everyone to show restraint in these holy days,” Gantz wrote on Twitter.


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