Joint IDF-Palestinian ‘Memorial Service’ Gets Court Approval

Yerushalayim municipality. (David Vaaknin/Flash90)

After failing to halt an upcoming memorial event that will include both IDF soldiers and Arab terrorists who tried to kill them and other Israelis, Culture Minister Miri Regev said she would work to deny funding to the Barbur Gallery, the Yerushalayim city-affiliated art gallery that is sponsoring the event. Regev was asked by members of the City Council to pull funding for the gallery, and she responded by saying that she was looking into ways of doing that, Channel 20 reported.

The effort to pull funding for the gallery came after the city filed a petition with the Yerushalayim Civil Court seeking an injunction against the event, which is set to take place Tuesday night, the eve of Memorial Day in Israel. The court ruled that the event, which will include a discussion with family members of both Jews and Arabs killed in security events, was completely legal. The court ordered the city to open an auditorium requested by the gallery for the event, and ordered it to pay NIS 5,000 in court costs.

The gallery is located in a city-owned property, and as such, it argued that the gallery was violating its contract, as its lease limited it to art expositions – and specifically excluded political activity. “The admission of groups whose legitimacy is contested and who are participating in the event, including Breaking the Silence and similar groups, warrants shutting down this gallery.” In response, the court said that the gallery had framed the event not as a political one, but a memorial event – and there was nothing in the contract against that.

Gallery officials hailed the decision, saying that the attempts “to silence us have been quashed. Suffering and mourning is not the exclusive property of one side or the other. We invite Minister Regev and Mayor Nir Barkat to participate in our event, which is based on accommodation, not hate and division.”