Anti-judicial reform protesters interrupted member of Knesset member Boaz Bismuth of the Likud Party as he spoke at a Holocaust memorial service at a Tel Aviv synagogue on Monday evening.
Several protesters shouted “Shame” at Bismuth. Others called on the protesters to stop.
“I will not treat those who came here against me as enemies. We are brothers. We may not agree but we will not do to each other what has been done to us for many generations. It is legitimate that everyone has a different aspiration for Israel—but our fate is the same, certainly on an evening like this,” said Bismuth, who left before finishing his remarks, fearing violence.
“Some of those present went outside and some clashed inside the synagogue,” Bismuth said, according to Arutz Sheva. “It was really terrible. It just clouded this important day. Every year a different politician comes to speak. Last year, it was [Likud MK] Ofir Akunis and there were no such reactions. Israel is simply not the same as it was on the last Holocaust Remembrance Day. We can’t put aside the differences even on a day like this.”
Benny Gantz, head of the opposition National Unity Party, tweeted against the protesters, “As a son of Holocaust survivors, the photos of MK Bismuth being turned away from the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in a synagogue in the Jewish state are heartbreaking.
“I condemn this, and even though I understand the differences of opinion and distress that many in the nation feel, I ask everyone to show restraint on these sacred days. We will hold the intense and important debates about our identity with determination and strength after these days are over,” he added.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog, during his Holocaust Remembrance Day speech at Yad Vashem on Monday night, appealed for a respite from the upheaval surrounding the government’s planned judicial reforms, saying:
“This year, feelings are rough and shoulders are hunched as if to attest to the weight of the discord bearing down on us. 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.”