Netanyahu appeals to Israeli brotherhood in Remembrance Day address

Amir Ohana, Israel's parliament speaker, gives a speech during the annual ceremony for Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers, Yom HaZikaron, at the Yad LaBanim Memorial in Jerusalem on April 24, 2023. Pool Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/UPI | License Photo

April 25 (UPI) -- Israelis paused on Tuesday in recognition of Remembrance Day, or Memorial Day, to honor those who have died from war and terrorism, despite the political turmoil that has engulfed the country in past months.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the annual acknowledgment, that honors the 24,213 who died in service to Israel and the 4,255 terrorism victims, in a call for unity.


"Today, more than ever, on the day we remember the heroes of the nation, we must remember that we are brothers: Jews, Druze, Muslims, Bedouins, Christians, Circassians," Netanyahu said in a speech at Israel's national ceremony at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem. "[We are] brothers in service, brothers in arms, brothers in blood."

Netanyahu's older brother Yonatan Netanyahu was killed during a raid in 1976 to free Israeli hostages from Entebbe, Uganda.

The day was not completely void of political disturbances as National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir was met by some protesters at the Beersheba military cemetery where demonstrators held up signs and some broke into song in an effort to drown out his speech but failed.


At the beginning of the celebration on Monday evening, Israel President Isaac Herzog said the traditional siren call during the recognition is a "wake-up call" for Israel.

"The siren that pierced the silence right now, making its way from one end of the land to the next, rattles our souls and makes way for remembrance, which overwhelms us with silence," Herzog said.

"I ask myself; I ask us: What other country in the world has such a special sound? It is the sound of pain and of hope; of grief and of pride. It is the sound of the State of Israel."

Israel has experienced massive protests over Netanyahu's efforts to reform the judiciary and its military has clashed with Palestinians over possible new West Bank settlements.

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