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Protests Interrupt Events on Israel's National Day of Mourning

Israel’s National Day of Mourning is traditionally a somber day of remembrance, when all Israelis put aside their differences and grieve those lost in wars or terrorist attacks. However, at this year’s events on May 13, popular anger bubbled to the surface over the conduct of the war, the lack of progress in returning the hostages, and a sense that after all the bloodshed, Israel will still be in the same precarious position, despite the promises of “total victory.”

According to the New York Times, Prime Minister Netanyahu was taunted multiple times by hecklers as he spoke at the ceremony at Mount Herzl, Israel’s national cemetery. One heckler shouted at him, “Garbage,” and another yelled, “You took my children.” At a cemetery in Ashdod, National Security Minister Ben-Gvir was heckled by several people including one who called him a “criminal.” The somber moment was lost as Ben-Gvir supporters then tried to drown-out the hecklers and a vocal competition developed between the two factions. There were similar confrontations against other ministers, including the Defense Minister and the Transportation Minister. Of note, Ben-Gvir and other ministers had a comparable reception last year, due to opposition to the attempted grab for power via the ‘judicial reforms’ that they promoted.

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