Im Tirtzu Alters Memorial Prayer in Fresh Attack on Israeli Left

Group hands out 15,000 pamphlets on Memorial Day featuring altered Yizkor prayer taking aim at leftists.

Im Tirzu, which labels itself as a centrist party that aims to strengthen Zionism in Israel, has distributed 15,000 pamphlets in synagogues that feature an altered version of the memorial prayer (Yizkor), which takes aim at leftists and conscientious objectors.

"Let the people of Israel remember those from within it, flesh from their flesh, who participated in claims against its officers and soldiers. Those who during the time of the battle to defend Israel stood at protests and called their soldiers war criminals. Remember those in deep darkness befriended the worst enemies of Israel in order to harm the holy ones delivered their souls for the sake of the nation," the altered passage read.

Several Israelis who saw the additional passage expressed outrage on Sunday, the start of Israel's Memorial Day.

One woman who read it said the pamphlet was meant to incite and exploit Memorial Day to promote Im Tirtzu.

The group said in response that, "Unfortunately, those who are actually harming the memorial prayer are those harming Israel Defense Forces soldiers, and not those protecting them."

Im Tirtzu also said, "The aim of the pamphlets is for this years' memorial prayer not just to remember the fallen, but also to shine light on those from the New Israel Fund who call for the trial of IDF commanders, those who protest against them while they risk their lives. We are working in order to remember them as well, and we await the day we can return to the prayer's original form."

Im Tirtzu earlier this year claimed in a feature published in the Hebrew daily Maariv that it found that 92 percent of negative references to the Israel Defense Forces in the Goldstone report originating with Israeli sources came from organizations sponsored by New Israel Fund.

The fund's grantees include Adalah, Breaking the Silence, B'Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Yesh Din and the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights.

Following the feature, Im Tirtzu launched an explicit campaign against the fund, whose president, Naomi Chazan, was subsequently fired from the Jerusalem Post, where she served as a columnist.