“Non-Jewish soldiers will be buried in same section as Jews, but in different rows.” A small item in Haaretz that encapsulates the larger truth. Thanks to Ilene Cohen.
Note: The segregation policy that Israel is effecting is one between Israelis who emigrated from the former Soviet Union with doubtful Jewish pedigree and Israelis whose Jewish bloodlines are not in question.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is expected to announce Sunday that non-Jewish soldiers will be buried in the same sections as Jewish soldiers in military cemeteries – but in different rows.
The decision follows an incident on Memorial Day when the IDF chief of staff chose not to place a flag at the grave of a fallen soldier whose Judaism was in doubt.
As a result of Sunday’s announcement, MK Elazar Stern (Hatnuah) is expected to shelve a bill under which soldiers whose Judaism is in doubt would be buried alongside their Jewish comrades….
Stern submitted a draft bill signed by 26 coalition and opposition MKs under which fallen soldiers who immigrated under the Law of Return would be buried alongside Jewish soldiers, regardless of their Judaism.
The U.S. integrated its armed forces in 1948. But Israel exempts Palestinians from service. Some Palestinians do serve. But Christians, Druze and Bedouin fallen soldiers are not even in the military graveyards, per the JPost, their families preferring community cemeteries.
Also notice that Hatnuah is the liberal Jewish party in Israel, and has accepted this segregation as a compromise. A Knesset member from Hatnuah is speaking at J Street’s conference in September. I wonder how he would defend this policy to liberal Americans.