Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved Sunday a recommendation to include fallen Israeli Prison Service members in the Yizkor (remembrance) prayer used at military memorial ceremonies
Barak okayed the recommendation of a special committee set up to determine whether to include the IPS fallen in the Yizkor prayer. The committee was made up of 29 representatives including bereaved parents.
"Adding the IPS fallen to the Yizkor prayer is part of legislation we are promoting on the issue of military cemeteries," Barak explained.
"The Defense Ministry, with the help of the Department of Commemoration, has been preparing for Remembrance Day ceremonies and will continue to support the bereaved families as we have done throughout the year," he added.
Yad Lebanim Chairman Eli Ben Shem called the decision "inevitable," adding: "For years now the police, Mossad, Shin Bet fallen have been illegally buried in plots intended for Israel’s fallen. So, as part of the arrangement and recognition, they are also included in the Yizkor. It’s a tough decision but it’s logical."
Last summer, there was a controversy surrounding the Yizkor prayer version used at military memorial ceremonies. It was reported then that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ordered the wording to be revised to "God remembers his sons and daughters" instead of the current "Israel remembers its sons and daughters," sparking a torrent of enraged responses by bereaved families.
Thousands signed a petition objecting the change and the issue was brought before a special committee. The committee, established to determine whether the word ‘Israel’ should be replaced by the word ‘God’ in the Yizkor prayer, decided to leave the prayer as is.
"We must sound the official Yizkor, which is aimed especially at the people of Israel and expresses values of culture and Israel remembrance," the committee wrote.